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Trial Report No. 93-T106 Medical Malpractice

Obstetrical Negligence – Central Apnea – Choreoathetoid Cerebral Palsy

Type of Action

Medical malpractice – obstetrical negligence

Type of Injuries

Choreoathetoid cerebral palsy, central apnea, hearing deficit and mild to moderate mental retardation

Name of Case

Danielle P. Amburn, et al. v. V.C.U. Obstetrics & Gynecology Association

Court/Case No.

Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, No. 1167-2

Judge or Jury


Name of Judge

Judge Randall G. Johnson and Judge Melvin Hughes

Special Damages

Past medicals approximately $195,000; future medicals approximately $2.7 million

Damages Awarded or Settled




Attorney for Plaintiff

Edward W. Taylor, Richmond

Insurance Carrier


Other Useful Information

The infant was a full-term baby born at MCV Hospital on March 19, 1987, after receiving prenatal care as a private patient of an obstetrician member of VCU Obstetrics and Gynecology Association at the Nelson Clinic associated with MCV Hospital.

At the end of the pregnancy, there were several abnormal non-stress tests, and a hospital admission on March 13, 1987, for an episode of increased blood pressure, dizziness, weakness, tiredness and blurred vision which resolved.

The plaintiffs maintained that the mother should not have been discharged from the hospital on March 16, 1987, without having seen an attending physician for two days or having had electronic monitoring for two days or without being delivered.

In a telephone call to her private physician following discharge, the mother, who is a nurse, asked to be delivered without further delay. She was advised that she would not be delivered until she was sufficiently dilated and effaced.

The plaintiffs maintained that the mother should not have been given Pitocin to induce delivery following abnormal non-stress and contractions stress tests when she was re-admitted to MCV Hospital on March 19, 1993.

The infant was injured as a result of a fetomaternal hemorrhage, which she maintains occurred acutely on the day or days just prior to delivery. The defendants contended that there was a chronic hemorrhage which was unaffected by the timing of the delivery or the care in the last several days prior to delivery.

The infant was delivered by cesarean section following the loss of beat to beat variability and late decelerations.

Her initial apgar scores were zero at one minute, two at five minutes, and four at 10 minutes.

The infant’s central apnea is permanent, and she will need a Bi-pap ventilator during sleep for the remainder of her life. She has reduced strength and coordination and difficulty in academic areas which will require continued special education services.

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