May 15, 2002
A pregnant woman from Ashland, Kentucky, noticing decreased fetal movement, called her Ob-Gyn, who immediately referred her to the ER. Contraction stress tests were performed, which were well within the normal limits. The woman was released the next day. Just two days later, however, upon reporting to the Ob-Gyn after again noticing decreased fetal movement, the baby was stillborn. The Plaintiff alleged that if the Ob-Gyn had repeated the ER’s tests and performed a biophysical profile, an abnormality would have been identified, and the baby could have been promptly and safely delivered. Gerald Toner represented the doctor and argued that the doctor exceeded the standard of care in ordering the woman stay overnight at the ER. Furthermore, the infant’s death was caused by an underlying circulatory problem, a defect that could not be detected via fetal monitoring techniques. Upon hearing this testimony, the Boyd County jury exonerated the physician, giving the Plaintiff none of the asked-for $2,904,500.