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Michigan Family Awarded $5 Million After Botched Midwife Delivery

In May 2014, a Michigan couple received $5 million after filing a lawsuit against the midwife who, in 2011, attended to their son's birth.

Sara Snyder had already decided to give birth at the Greenhouse Birth Center, a midwifery clinic in Okemos, Michigan, when she was informed that the fetus was in a breech position. This was confirmed by an ultrasound performed five weeks later, the lawsuit states. However, Snyder's midwife, Clarice Winkler, claimed that it would still be safe to attempt a vaginal delivery.

Instead, the following complications occurred during her April 8, 2011, childbirth:

  • Snyder went into labor and was admitted to the birth center.
  • After almost six hours of pushing, the baby boy was born up to the chest, but his head was stuck.
  • According to the lawsuit, the baby remained stuck for nearly seven minutes before Winkler managed to free him.
  • His body was blue and lifeless, and paramedics were immediately called upon to transport him to a local hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

The baby spent thirteen days in the hospital before dying from organ failure and severe brain damage. An Ingham County Circuit Judge ordered Ms. Winkler to pay $5 million in damages. The state's Nursing Board also found Winkler negligent after an investigation carried out by the Attorney General's office.

All practitioners involved in childbirth, including midwives, are responsible for providing adequate care and responding properly to complications. Victims of negligence have a right to seek fair compensation for the damages they suffer. To learn more about taking legal action following a birth injury or wrongful death, contact an attorney at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices in Chicago, Illinois.

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