What if the midwife is also responsible for the birth injury? This was a question that was posed to me by a mother who had also been in the care of a midwife. Initially she was not sure if anything could be done because of the midwife’s actions. With that said, her question invoked other issues too because the midwife was employed by another agency. Although the birth took place at a hospital, the question about the midwife’s employer remained a concern.
In this birth injury educational article, I am going to walk you through some of the key issues these types of cases present when the birth takes place at a hospital and a midwife is also engaged. The reasoning for the midwife can also hold true for labor and delivery nurses employed by a hospital, and doctors too.
HOW THESE SITUATIONS USUALLY PRESENT…
To help get an understanding of these issues, I am going to present you with a general background as to most of the calls that we get regarding this subject. Mom will have had most, if not all her prenatal care at a women clinic or health center. While at the center she will have been assigned a midwife to help her during the process. During pregnancy mom will not have had any issues for the most part. In other words, she had an uneventful pregnancy.
When it is time to give birth, mom will have gone to a hospital (see our other video as to why this is important) to get the labor and delivery process started. Once at the hospital, the birthing process gets underway. A labor and delivery nurse can also be assigned for care, along with the midwife.
WHAT IF THE MIDWIFE IS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BIRTH INJURY?
Now to the question of what if the midwife is also responsible for the birth injury and he or she is employed by an outside agency? This question invokes a theory in the law called Respondeat Superior. What this means is that the employer can also be held responsible for the negligence of the employee. In Maryland for this to hold true there are other elements that must be met like scope of employment. But in the most basic sense, this is what the theory holds.
Understanding that, you should now be able to see that if the midwife is negligent, then they can be held responsible, and so can their employer if other elements are met. The liability theory that I just discussed for the midwife also holds true for the labor and delivery nurse. If this nurse is also negligent and is an employee of the hospital, then not only can he or she be held responsible for their negligence, but the also the hospital.
In some cases, hospitals or other agencies will argue that the person who was negligent was not an employee but was an independent contractor for the hospital or agency. When claims like this are made you must look at all the relevant facts to get the true picture of the classification. However, for this article, you should now have a better understanding of what if the midwife is also responsible for the birth injury and works for an agency or women’s clinic.
If you have more questions about your baby’s brain injury at birth, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I speak with families all the time about these types of issues and I would be happy to listen to your story.
You can reach me at 301-850-4832.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP