Last week, the Appellate Division reversed a Kings County, New York Supreme Court Justice who granted the motion of New York Methodist Hospital and two obstetricians to dismiss plaintiff's lack of informed consent and malpractice claims. This plaintiff will now have her day in Court before a jury who will decide whether she has proven her claims and fairly compensate her child for serious and permanent neurological injuries.
This case involves a mother in her 26th week of pregnancy who signed a consent form allowing her obstetrician to induce labor causing the infant to be born prematurely via c-section. There were medical malpractice claims concerning an alleged negligent performance of a digital vaginal exam which raised the risk for infection, thus leading to the induction. Plaintiff's expert raised an issue of fact on "whether the infection was sufficiently advanced and severe as to require immediate inducement. That's a question a jury will decide.
Most importantly the Appellate Division followed longstanding precedent stating: "The fact that a plaintiff signed a consent form, standing alone, does not establish a defendant's prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law." The jury will decide whether the maternal plaintiff was fully informed about the risks and benefits of inducing labor at 26 weeks gestation and the available alternatives to that approach. Guinn v New York Methodist Hospital, 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 00308