State to pay $3.75M in malpractice settlement

The state of Iowa has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a malpractice lawsuit, the Associated Press reported. The lawsuit claimed negligence by University of Iowa Hospital employees regarding a birth defect that left a baby with severe mental disabilities due to brain injuries allegedly sustained during delivery.

The victim's family lawyer, Martin Diaz, said this is a significant example of the many recent malpractice lawsuits involving the administering of the drug Pitocin during labor and delivery. Diaz alleged that the administered Pitocin induced excessive contractions, which caused trauma to the child in the birth canal.

This settlement is one of the largest malpractice suits involving University of Iowa Hospitals in the past decade, according to the AP. University of Iowa lawyers have denied any negligence regarding Pitocin use, stating that other factors, and not the drug, likely led to the the injuries sustained by the now-five-year old boy.

This case is among a growing number of malpractice suits involving birth-related injuries that have ended in multi-million dollar settlements. Courts have ruled against hospitals in these suits, particularly involving cases in which trauma occurred during birth and resulted in mental disabilities. Hospitals in these lawsuits have largely denied allegations of negligence and malpractice and often attempt to appeal the hefty settlements.  

To learn more:
- read the AP article