Iowa Mom Wins Case Against Mercy Medical Center

August 21, 2014

A Linn County, Iowa couple won their negligence lawsuit this week, stemming from a 2011 injury that took place while the plaintiff was giving birth at Mercy Medical Center, in Cedar Rapids.

According to court documents, 29-year-old Jill Fisher was a patient at Mercy on September 29, 2011, when she gave birth to her baby. During delivery, however, her right leg was injured when it fell out of a stirrup and off of the bed, causing harmful stretching and tearing to her muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The incident happened while a nurse on duty looked away and didn’t notice that Fisher’s leg was not properly positioned in the stirrup. When the nurse finally noticed, she re-positioned Fisher’s leg shortly before the baby was born.

Since Fisher was administered an epidural, she didn’t notice the extreme pain in her leg until the medication wore off. Consequently, she underwent surgery shortly after her baby was born, which included injections in her lower back and hip for severe pain, as well as cartilage repair.

In addition, her employment at the Univeristy of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, where she works as a nurse, was severely impacted due to the amount of time needed to heal. In fact, her job role had to change significantly, as she was unable to meet they physical demands of caring for patients. Instead, she had to take on administrative duties while she healed.

According to her attorney, Fisher will experience ongoing pain that may last a lifetime. Mercy Medical Center declined to comment on Fisher’s condition.

In addition to past and future medical costs, Fisher was awarded $350,000 in damages for the loss of future earnings and the past and future loss of mental and physical pain.

According to CNN Health, medical mistakes happen, and even the most prominent doctors and nurses are not a guarantee that infants and mothers will be safe under their care. In fact, millions of  people are victim of medication mistakes in the United States each year. Many of these mistakes are never brought to light because in some cases, patients don’t understand their rights when it comes to medical negligence.

“Mistakes are happening every day in every hospital in the country that we’re just not catching,” said Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Dr. Albert Wu. 

In most situations, many of the medical mistakes made by physicians and hospital staff can be avoided by not taking any moment for granted, especially during childbirth, and providing diligent care. Unfortunately, birth injuries and harm to the mother can take place in only a few minutes.