Anyone ever file a claim over a bad birth experience? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 11-02-2007, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to file a claim with the county for a birth experience that resulted in PTSD where I was mistreated by several of the hospital staff. I need help. I have no idea what is a reasonable amount to ask for. I am calculating therapy expenses both past and future, and future craniosacral therapy for Ds. I also want to ask for money for "unintentional infliction of emotional distress", but am unsure what a reasonable amount to ask for would be. Has anyone done this here who knows the legalities of the whole process. You can PM me if you'd like. Thanks.
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#2 of 14 Old 11-02-2007, 11:23 PM
 
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no advice, but so sorry for your birth experience.
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#3 of 14 Old 11-02-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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I'm trying to file a claim with the county for a birth experience that resulted in PTSD where I was mistreated by several of the hospital staff. I need help. I have no idea what is a reasonable amount to ask for. I am calculating therapy expenses both past and future, and future craniosacral therapy for Ds. I also want to ask for money for "unintentional infliction of emotional distress", but am unsure what a reasonable amount to ask for would be. Has anyone done this here who knows the legalities of the whole process. You can PM me if you'd like. Thanks.
Have you read this woman's story? You could probably PM her, I think she would have some info for you.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=668204
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#4 of 14 Old 11-03-2007, 03:16 AM
 
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Do you have a lawyer? A lawyer took your case?? Did your lawyer say that you have a strong enough case?????

These have been my biggest questions and fears about filing a lawsuit about the PTSD I got from poor staff treatment. I'm afraid that a lawyer will say that I don't have a case and won't take it on. And then I'm afraid that a lawyer will take the case and I'll lose and then I won't be able to afford the lawyer fees.

But to answer your question, here are my plans if I take my case to court:

The cost of the labor and delivery at the hospital
The cost of any mental health care (perscriptions, psychologist, etc)
pain and suffering that will put a dent in the hospitals pocket, and that wouldn't probably mean more than $250,000
Heck, since I don't really care about whatever money I get and I just want to make a point to the hospital system, I'd ask for damages of over $ 1 million. I want them to HURT, and get the point that they can't treat women like dogs.

I hope you win! Women need a precedence that its not okay to abuse women even though "medically" speaking mom and baby are fine. The emotional hurt takes its toll not just on the mom, but also on the mother-baby relationship.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#5 of 14 Old 11-03-2007, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you have a lawyer? A lawyer took your case?? Did your lawyer say that you have a strong enough case?????

These have been my biggest questions and fears about filing a lawsuit about the PTSD I got from poor staff treatment. I'm afraid that a lawyer will say that I don't have a case and won't take it on. And then I'm afraid that a lawyer will take the case and I'll lose and then I won't be able to afford the lawyer fees.

But to answer your question, here are my plans if I take my case to court:

The cost of the labor and delivery at the hospital
The cost of any mental health care (perscriptions, psychologist, etc)
pain and suffering that will put a dent in the hospitals pocket, and that wouldn't probably mean more than $250,000
Heck, since I don't really care about whatever money I get and I just want to make a point to the hospital system, I'd ask for damages of over $ 1 million. I want them to HURT, and get the point that they can't treat women like dogs.

I hope you win! Women need a precedence that its not okay to abuse women even though "medically" speaking mom and baby are fine. The emotional hurt takes its toll not just on the mom, but also on the mother-baby relationship.
No, we don't have a lawyer, which is making this harder to figure out.

Here is what I did: I contacted the patient representative at the hospital that I went to. I asked for two things, I asked that they pay for the rest of my therapy since I can't afford it anymore, and I asked that they pay for my sons craniosacral therapy since he now remembers the birth and is going through some intense separation anxiety since beginning to talk about it. I also asked that I be able to have a meeting with the midwife (I don't really want to do this, but after thinking about it I thought that this would have the biggest impact on her, more so than if I wrote her a letter or something).

So, he checked with a bunch a people and when he got back to me he said that he was sending me claim forms and that I would need to file a claim with the county since I was asking for money. I asked about the meeting with the midwife and he said that he was reluctant to put us in a room together. I was also reluctant to have this meeting so I suggested the alternate plan of writing her a letter that she is required to respond to, so that I can feel that I have some resolution. He agreed to this plan.

So then I got claim form and I am just lost. I suddenly thought, wait a minute, they should pay for all the therapy that I have had to date, plus future therapy, plus craniosacral therapy for ds, plus emotional damages for us both. I calculated all the therapy costs, but the emotional damages are confusing and difficult to calculate. That is what I am wondering about. I know that it is called in legal terms "unintentional infliction of emotional distress" so this is what I am itemizing it as on the claim form. But how to you calculate such a thing?

I think that what happens is I will give them the claim form, and they will either deny it, accept it and pay, or likely try to negotiate a lower amount. I suppose at that point I can either accept their offer, or sue them. And I'm not sure what I would do then.
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#6 of 14 Old 11-03-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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I really hope you get some positive results with this and am so very sorry and angry you and your dc had to experience this disgraceful treatment.
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#7 of 14 Old 11-03-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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Interesting, I had not thought of filing a complaint with the hospital. My case is being reviewed by the division of maternal and infant care though. I don't expected to hear that any wrong doing took place, because that would be an admission of guilt wouldn't it? I also hadn't ever heard of unintentional inflictional of emotional distress, that label would really make my case stronger, because then its not pain and suffering, its an actual category that is separate. That gives me more confidence in my case.

You've taught me that there's another avenue to get redress than I had previously considered and the legal grounds for a settlment in the case of PTSD. I'm looking into the patient representative at the hospital I went to. Thanks for the idea.

AS for your original question, what amounts have you considered? Based on the fact that they will probably settle for less than you ask for, you should give an inflated request so when they settle, you'll get the amount you actually consider worth it.

I'd like to know how this goes for you. You are the only person I've encountered who has sought recourse for PTSD after childbirth.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#8 of 14 Old 11-04-2007, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting, I had not thought of filing a complaint with the hospital. My case is being reviewed by the division of maternal and infant care though. I don't expected to hear that any wrong doing took place, because that would be an admission of guilt wouldn't it? I also hadn't ever heard of unintentional inflictional of emotional distress, that label would really make my case stronger, because then its not pain and suffering, its an actual category that is separate. That gives me more confidence in my case.

You've taught me that there's another avenue to get redress than I had previously considered and the legal grounds for a settlment in the case of PTSD. I'm looking into the patient representative at the hospital I went to. Thanks for the idea.

AS for your original question, what amounts have you considered? Based on the fact that they will probably settle for less than you ask for, you should give an inflated request so when they settle, you'll get the amount you actually consider worth it.

I'd like to know how this goes for you. You are the only person I've encountered who has sought recourse for PTSD after childbirth.
I remembered someone that I could aks about this she answered my questions. First, it is not "unintentional" but 'intentional' or 'negligent' infliction of emotional distress. Either of those catagories would likely fit, though intentional is more fitting in my case. She recommended that I consult with a lawyer at this point. She said it benefits everyone to negotiate a settlement rather than go to court, and a lawyer could help me figure out how much to ask for. So I've decided to consult with a laywer, which may cost a couple hundred dollars, but it may prevent an actual lawsuit so it might be worth it. And hopefully I can at least get back the money that I have to pay for the lawer. I've recieved much conflicting advice about whether to pursue this legally or not, but in the end it is something I feel that I have to at least try. It is the principle of the thing, I can't just sit and let people treat me that way and not do anything about it.
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#9 of 14 Old 11-04-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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I skipped the whole hospital BS review process and had my atty at the hospital the day of the birth.

Get a lawyer....the hospital will only protect itself...they tried to alter my files...get a lawyer!!!

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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#10 of 14 Old 11-04-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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I've recieved much conflicting advice about whether to pursue this legally or not, but in the end it is something I feel that I have to at least try. It is the principle of the thing, I can't just sit and let people treat me that way and not do anything about it.
AMEN. It really is the principle (and the opportunity to prevent it from happening to others) that compels me to do something about it. And I honestly believe that legal means speak the loudest to hospitals so thats why I've considered pursuing it as the main means of recourse.

I wish you well and hope to keep in contact with you about your effort.

Do you have any advise for taking my complaint to the hospital?

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#11 of 14 Old 11-05-2007, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I skipped the whole hospital BS review process and had my atty at the hospital the day of the birth.

Get a lawyer....the hospital will only protect itself...they tried to alter my files...get a lawyer!!!
Thanks, I'm going to. Any advice on how to find a lawyer who will understand this whole issue?
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#12 of 14 Old 11-05-2007, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AMEN. It really is the principle (and the opportunity to prevent it from happening to others) that compels me to do something about it. And I honestly believe that legal means speak the loudest to hospitals so thats why I've considered pursuing it as the main means of recourse.

I wish you well and hope to keep in contact with you about your effort.

Do you have any advise for taking my complaint to the hospital?
I have no advice yet, but when all of this is over I might. I supposed hiring a lawyer and filing a claim, or in other words, trying to reach a settlement, would be the course of action that I am taking. I'll keep you posted though.
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#13 of 14 Old 02-06-2008, 06:51 AM
 
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I just wrote a new blog about this topic. Here's the link.

I started the process 6 months ago and its been really slow. I haven't hired a lawyer because I'm not willing to put that much money into it, and the ones I've talked to have not been willing to do it on contingency. I'm looking forward to seeing what the Joint Commission and State Department of Health have to say about it though.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#14 of 14 Old 10-03-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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Google birth injury attorneys/lawyers. You should have quite a few pop up for whereever you live. I DID have a case (according to 3 attorneys) for 2 of my births, but I waited over a year to file, and the statue of limitations for birth injuries is only a year in California, so we couldn't pursue it. Good luck!
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