Diane Hill was a young woman pregnant for the second time. She and her husband were very excited about having their second child. Diane went to all of her prenatal visits. She did everything she was told to do. She was repeatedly told she was carrying a single baby. All was wonderful.
Amazingly, her doctors missed that there were actually two babies growing inside of her uterus. 30 or 40 years ago, without ultrasounds, missing that a woman was carrying twins did happen. But, in today’s world that should never happen. Tragically, Diane went into early labor having no idea about the twins. She went straight to the hospital. It was there that she was first told that she was carrying twins.
Even with twins and very early signs of premature labor, proper medicines (tocolytics) likely would have stopped her labor. But, the first hospital she went to did not bother to start these tocolytics medications designed to stop premature labor. They just saw that she was having twins, was possibly going to have them very prematurely, and they decided to transfer her to a bigger hospital. The decision to transfer was fine, but the decision not to start tocolytics was not.
In addition to tocolytics, there are other medications (steroids) the doctors should have given that would have helped the babies more rapidly develop their fragile lungs and brains in preparation for a possible premature birth. But, the doctors did not use these drugs either. Because of the mistakes made at both the first and second hospitals, Myron and Byron are forever handicapped. They have and always will spend their lives confined to wheelchairs.
This very poor medical care put Diane in a very difficult situation. She had a three-year-old normal son, and now she had two more sons who were horribly brain damaged with severe Cerebral Palsy. Her husband could not stand the pressure and their marriage soon failed. Diane searched for help. She went to several attorneys who told her she had no case. They simply did not understand the medicine. They did not understand how tocolytics would likely have prolonged the pregnancy, and they were unaware of the then recent NIH study that showed how very well steroids helped when it was known that babies are likely to be born prematurely.
Finally, Diane came to TRIAL MD. We understood the medicine, and we understood exactly what could have and should have been done to save Myron and Byron. Early in the litigation, the defense told us that they would never settle the case. By the end of the litigation, after seeing how we put the case together and after hearing from our expert witnesses, the defense wanted to settle. They started out offering $1 million dollars. We rejected this offer as totally inadequate to take care of Myron and Byron. They slowly went to $2.7 million and said there would no more. We again rejected and continued to plan for trial. Ultimately, another level of insurance stepped in and the offer went to $3.9 million. At that level, Myron and Byron could be cared for and we settled.