Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

What you should know about Fetal Failure to Diagnose Cases


Almost six long years after a botched reading of her ultrasound, a mother child got justice in their fetal failure to diagnose claim against a negligent obstetrician-gynecologist. According to a June 10, 2019 article from Property Casualty 360, which reports on trends in the insurance industry, the case involved a misdiagnosis of Downs Syndrome. The ultrasound revealed this medical condition in the fetus, but the OB-GYN neglected to inform the pregnant woman. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the physician, a midwife, and the medical center that employed them, claiming monetary damages and emotional losses. In late May, the parties reached an agreement to settle the matter for $1.7 million.

If you or your child suffered harm because of a medical error during pregnancy, you should discuss your situation with an experienced Florida fetal misdiagnosis attorney. An overview of how these claims work may also be helpful.

Failure to Diagnose as a Cause of Birth Injuries: Claims for misdiagnosis of medical conditions during pregnancy are very similar to diagnosis errors in other cases. The basis for the claim is medical malpractice, where the patient is harmed because a health care provider didn’t properly detect and identify an ailment. The specifics will vary, but fetal failure to diagnosis can result in birth injuries when the physician doesn’t pinpoint the condition at all. You may also have a claim if the illness or injury is diagnosed too late. 

How Diagnosis Mistakes Happen: In the recent case that ended in settlement, the OB-GYN failed to diagnose Downs Syndrome in the fetus despite obvious signs of the condition in the pregnant mother’s ultrasound. However, other common grounds for fetal failure to diagnose claims include:

  • Failure to detect infections in the pregnant woman
  • Not diagnosing the expectant mother with gestational diabetes
  • Neglect in conducting a proper physical exam during pregnancy
  • Not thoroughly reviewing the woman’s medical history to determine risk factors for the pregnancy
  • Failing to properly order and review lab tests and screenings
  • Neglect in detecting fetal distress
  • Failure to confirm whether the fetus is in the breech position or is too big for vaginal delivery, which could necessitate a C-section
  • Not identifying and treating preeclampsia
  • Many others

Consequences and Patient Outcomes in Failure to Diagnose Cases: The details of a fetal misdiagnosis case will depend on what the physician missed, and how it affected the mother and/or infant. In some situations involving diagnosis errors, the patient must undergo additional treatment or surgery to rectify the harm suffered. In others, the mother or infant may have received care or a medical procedure that was unnecessary. The most serious claims can involve death or permanent disability to mother, fetus, or both.

Discuss Your Rights with a Florida Misdiagnosis Lawyer 

For more information on your legal options in a fetal failure to diagnose claim, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. We’re happy to set up a no-cost consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers. Our Florida misdiagnosis attorneys can explain more about your rights and remedies after reviewing your circumstances in more detail.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn