Victoria Nielson received regular prenatal care at The Baby Place Midwives & Birth Center, a midwifery clinic. When she was more than a week overdue, she was admitted to the clinic to deliver her child. Midwives Coleen Goodwin and Jerusha Goodwin monitored Nielson during the first phase of labor, which lasted more than 20 hours due to the baby’s delayed descent. About 26 hours after her admission, Nielson’s daughter was born in cardiac and respiratory arrest. Her Apgar scores were zero at one minute and one at five minutes. Now 4, she is severely brain damaged and requires a feeding tube and 24-hour care.
Nielson and her husband, individually and on their daughter’s behalf, sued the clinic and the Goodwins, alleging the midwives mishandled the delivery. Among other things, the plaintiffs argued that in light of the baby’s gestational age and failure to descend, the defendants should have instructed Nielson to deliver her child at a hospital. Additionally, the plaintiffs asserted, the defendants should have performed continuous fetal monitoring during the delivery.
The parties agreed to a $5 million stipulated judgment before trial.
Citation: Nielson v. Goodwin, No. CVOC201008898 (Idaho, Ada Co. Dist. Apr. 20, 2012).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Eric S. Rossman, Boise, Idaho.