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Monday, November 19, 2007

Donald L. DeVries, Jr. and Nichole Nesbitt of Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann obtained a defense verdict on behalf of MedStar-Georgetown Medical Center and its employees after a jury trial in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia on October 25, 2007. The case, Schneider v. MedStar-Georgetown Medical Center, Inc., et al., involved a pregnant woman who experienced a rupture of her uterus in labor in the course of attempting a VBAC, or vaginal birth after having a cesarean section with a previous pregnancy. The infant was resuscitated following an emergency cesarean section but died three days later.

The plaintiff claimed that she was not sufficiently advised of the risks associated with VBAC and that the certified nurse midwives who provided her prenatal care were negligent in failing to collaborate with obstetricians. The defense argued that the midwives were independent practitioners who were fully capable of managing the plaintiff’s care without the supervision or collaboration of physicians and that the midwives properly advised the plaintiff of the risk of uterine rupture associated with VBAC.

The defense further argued that the plaintiff failed to notify the midwives when she went into labor and in fact was at home when her uterus ruptured, after she had labored at home for several hours.

The jury concluded that the midwives met the standard of care in the treatment of the plaintiff and therefore were not liable for her alleged injuries or the death of the child.

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