Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. (SPBMC) won a $4 million verdict last week on behalf of its client for emotional distress due to the loss of her five-month-old fetuses.
At the time of the wrongful deaths, the plaintiff was five months pregnant with twins when a sonogram showed signs of an increased risk for pre-term labor.
She contacted her doctor immediately and asked for a cerclage to be placed in her cervix (also known as a cervical stitch), which is a treatment for cervical incompetence or insufficiency when the cervix prematurely shortens and opens. He did not recommend it, stating the risks of infection and other risks outweighed any benefits.
The opportunity to insert the cerclage was missed on the night before she gave birth. The next day, the plaintiff went into pre-term labor and delivered the twins, who could not survive.
The seven-day trial was held in Kings County Supreme Court. The plaintiff was represented by an SPBMC team led by trial partner Eleni Coffinas, who leads the firm’s medical malpractice group. She argued that the plaintiff’s doctor was negligent by not inserting the cerclage. The defense maintained a position of “no pay.”
After a 55-minute deliberation, the jury ultimately agreed with Ms. Coffinas and the plaintiff, awarding $4 million for the client’s past and future pain and suffering.