Chambers County

(5) M.H., a Minor, by and through his Parents and Next Friends, ASHLEY and MARK HANNER, vs. KIMBERLY D. FIELDS, M.D., UNITED WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE, P.C., and CHATTAHOOCHEE VALLEY HOSPITAL SOCIETY d/b/a LANIER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL (Circuit Court of Chambers County, Alabama)

County/Docket #/Judge: Chambers / CV-2011-900135 / Tom F. Young, Jr.

Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s): Peter F. Burns and William M. Cunningham, Jr., of Burns, Cunningham, et al., P.C., Mobile, AL; Zev, T. Gershon and Randal D. Getz of Gershon, Willoughby, et al., LLC, Baltimore, MD

Defendant(s) Attorney(s): Robert L. Williams of Hand Arendall, LLC, Birmingham, AL; Scott M. Salter of Starnes, Davis, et al., LLP, Birmingham, AL

Age/Sex/Occupation Of Plaintiff: M.H.: Fetus/Newborn / M / n/a

Cause Of Injury: Medical Malpractice/Obstetrics and Gynecology/Delayed Delivery After Placental Abruption Causing Neurological Damage. In April of 2007, plaintiff Ashley Hanner began receiving regular prenatal care. On Nov. 3, 2007, and again on Nov. 9, 2007, plaintiff had an elevated blood pressure and protein in her urine. These were signs of preeclampsia, which increased the risk of a placental abruption. A biophysical profile and non-stress test revealed a healthy fetus, and the blood pressure elevation appeared to resolve. On Nov. 17, 2007, plaintiff was 36 weeks pregnant and presented to Lanier Memorial Hospital with complaints of lower abdominal and lower back cramping. She also had vaginal bleeding. Despite non-reassuring fetal heart tones, the time between her admission and an emergency C-section delivery was approximately 80 minutes. At delivery, a placental abruption was found. Her infant son, M.H., was severely depressed at birth with Apgar scores of 0, 0, 0 and 2 at one, five, ten and fifteen minutes respectively. Plaintiff claimed that, as a result of the delay in delivery, M.H. suffered severe and permanent neurologic damage including cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and cognitive deficits.

Plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action against Dr. Fields, United Women’s Healthcare, P.C., and Chattahoochee Valley Hospital Society d/b/a Lanier Memorial Hospital on Nov. 17, 2011.

Nature Of Injury: Neurological damage; cerebral palsy.

Expert Witnesses: n/a

Verdict: For Defendants on March 18, 2016.