West Virginia Record

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Texas couple say WVU Hospitals caused daughter's injuries after birth

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 23, 2012

MORGANTOWN -- A Round Rock, Texas, couple is suing West Virginia University Hospitals for injuries they claim their infant daughter suffered due to negligence during her birth.

West Virginia University Board of Governors was also named as a defendant in the suit.

In late 2009, after attempts at artificial insemination, Jennifer Bolack was confirmed to be pregnant and thereafter became a patient at WVU Hospital, where she received her prenatal care with the Cheat Lake Physicians, according to a complaint filed July 5 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

Bolack claims on July 4, 2010, she reported to the defendant with suspicion of leakage of amniotic fluid and was admitted into the hospital.

Fetal monitoring was reported as being active with moderate variability and sufficient accelerations, according to the suit, and after a urinalysis was performed and was reported as negative, Bolack was discharged with instructions to follow up with Dr. Hobson Booth at Cheat Lake Physicians on July 6, 2010.

Bolack claims when she saw Booth, she was scheduled for an induction of labor and went to WVU Hospital complaining of decreased fetal movement, where she was admitted and an "electronic fetal monitoring was instituted and pitocin begun."

Throughout the afternoon, the fetal monitoring strips began to demonstrate late decelerations with decreased reactivity and the following day the fetal monitoring strips and fetal scalp clip were removed due to loss of contact, according to the suit.

Bolack claims when Abigail L. Bolack was delivered at 12:31 a.m. on July 7, 2010, she had no heart rate, no respirations, was limp with no spontaneous movement and was of poor color.

Abigail Bolack's right arm was noted to be flaccid and she was handed off to the neonatal resuscitation team, who admitted her to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she was noted to have suffered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and was in critical condition, according to the suit.

Jennifer Bolack and her husband, Louis David Bolack, claim Abigail Bolack was finally discharged from the hospital two weeks after her birth when she was finally stabilized and seizure-free, but she continues to follow-up with therapy and is neurologically delayed, showing deficits in her physical and speech therapy and remains under the care of doctors and therapists.

The defendants negligently failed to monitor Jennifer Bolack's labor; negligently failed to provide qualified physicians and medical staff to properly examine and monitor Jennifer Bolack during labor; and negligently failed to timely and properly read the findings of the fetal heart monitor tracings, according to the suit.

The Bolacks claim the defendants also negligently delayed in performing a necessary cesarean section, which was needed to deliver Abigail Bolack before she suffered the injuries she did.

As a result of the defendants' negligence, Abigail Bolack incurred multiple hospitalizations; multiple therapies; seizures; deprivation of oxygen; respiratory distress; asystole and apnea; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; brain injury; neurological deficits; developmental delays; delayed motor skills; delayed cognitive skills; neurodevelopmental problems; need for substantial medical treatment and hospitalizations; need to expend large sums of money for health care; loss of income and impairment of earning power; loss of enjoyment of life; pain and suffering; permanent disability; permanent disfigurement; need for surgical procedures; and need for adaptive appliances, transportation and housing, according to the suit.

The Bolacks are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Harry S. Cohen and Douglas L. Price.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 12-C-445

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