When reading my blog and hearing my story, interested parties often ask the question “Did you sue?” The answer. Yes. and No.
We certainly met with the lawyers. One. Two. Three Lawyers and law firms. All of the lawyers had the same resounding sentiment about my case. “A bad result does not always equal a lawsuit.” All of the lawyers based their ability to build a case upon my shaky testimony (My PTSD impacted my ability to relay my side of the story). All of the lawyers based their ability to build a case based on the hospital records (which were largely inaccurate and reflected good care by the doctor and hospital). All of the lawyers based their ability to bring a case based on the time left in the statute of limitations (2 and 1/2 years)-we were approaching this time frame when we were deciding to bring forth the case). All of the lawyers based their ability to build this case on the fact that there really was no “precedent” case available to judge their success with the case. All of the lawyers based their ability to build this case against OBGYN’s medical malpractice insurance and the fact that it was rarely penetrable unless the case was totally clear-cut.
All of these lawyers were unwilling to take the risk on my case and convinced me not to take the risk because of the 100′s of thousands of dollars I would shell out, the stress it would put me under, and the stigma I would have attached to me in a very public light during trial.
Do I think it was the right decision to not pursue the case? I guess it really does not matter what I think, I’m not a lawyer. I don’t speak the legal vernacular to understand if there was any way, shape, or form that my case may have been successful.
I do know that pursing a case in my condition (PTSD) would have been a brutal exercise in self-hatred as I would need to relay triggering events over and over in a very public venue.
I do know that when you need to sign that hospital records are accurate upon discharge-you really are in no condition to look over them with a fine tooth comb for inaccuracies (prior to signing) if you are in shock from a traumatic birth.
I do know that with a statute of limitations of 2 1/2 years, often mothers who suffer with PTSD are not able and willing to pursue a case in a timely manner, thus, often losing their chance.
I do know that there is STILL not a precedent case (that I know of in our area) that brings monetary relief for a women inflicted with emotional birth trauma.
I do know that it is extremely difficult to ever crack into OBGYN’s medical malpractice insurance.
Lastly, I do know that it was never about the money for me. It was about my doctor saying that she messed up…It was about her saying sorry….It was about her admitting she failed me as a patient both during birth and postpartum…It was about making sure this didn’t happen to other patients.
I’m doing what I can on my end. I’m trying to spread the word that there is help and hope for those suffering with birth trauma. Unfortunately, it is difficult to understand how my “case” impacted my doctor and the medical community in which I delivered.
Thanks for reading,