Senior Trial Partner Bruce G. Habian obtained a unanimous defense verdict in Kings County Supreme Court before Justice Pamela Fisher.
The plaintiff was admitted to the client Hospital at 40 plus weeks gestation per her non-party attending obstetrician. This admission was for delivery of her second pregnancy; the plaintiff had undergone a prior C-section for a breech presentation. She was desirous of a trial of labor (TOL) for a potential vaginal birth after section (VBAC). Because of a failure to progress in labor and the persistent threat of non-reassuring fetal heart tracings, the defendant OB, maternal-fetal specialist, recommended abandoning the trial of labor; the plaintiff initially refused this advice. The second C-section was complicated by a laceration of the left uterine artery, a tear in the broad ligament, all secondary to dense adhesions from the first C-section, and a very thin lower uterine segment. During the repair process, the defendant obstetrician suspected possible ureter compromise. A recommendation for an intravenous pyelogram was made the night of surgery for the first post-operative day. An accom-panying cystoscopy revealed a 2 cm. blockage of dye in the left ureter and an inability to place a stent. A nephrostomy tube was admin-istered for kidney hydronephrosis; what followed were multiple interventional radiology procedures to release the stenosis of the ureter, which most likely was caused by the emergency repair procedures – a partial suture. Three months later the ureter became patent.
Plaintiff proceeded on a claim of surgical negligence, claiming that the persistent labor and fetal heart tracings allowed for an emergency section and the resultant tissue injuries. She also claimed inadequate consent information during the trial of labor.