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GOODELL DEVRIES TAKES DEFENSE VERDICT IN OB/GYN CASE
Craig B. Merkle and Nichole Nesbitt won a defense verdict for their physician client after a jury trial in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County.
The case involved a patient who sustained vaginal and perineal lacerations in the course of childbirth. Although the lacerations were repaired at the time of delivery, the patient alleged that she experienced pain in the immediate post-partum period. The defendant obstetrician-gynecologist saw the patient five days following delivery and again ten days later and determined that the lacerations were healing and that the patient’s pain was improving. When the patient returned for her regularly-scheduled post-partum visit four weeks later, a portion of her labia had agglutinated, or fused together, over the vaginal opening, which required corrective surgery.
The patient claims that she developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the agglutination and that she still experiences chronic pelvic pain. She alleged that the obstetrician-gynecologist failed to appropriately follow her post-partum course and prevent the agglutination from occurring.
The defense argued that the post-partum care was appropriate and that the formation of an agglutination in a post-partum patient is exceedingly rare and could not have been predicted. The jury concluded that the doctor met the standard of care in the treatment of the patient and therefore was not liable for her alleged injuries.