Our client was a “mono-mono” twin who shared the same amniotic sac and placenta as her twin while in utero. When the mother of mono-mono twins begins the labor and delivery process, it’s critically important that the doctors and nurses properly monitor the “fetal monitoring strips” to prevent a birth injury to one or both of the twins prior to delivery.
Unfortunately for our client, the medical personnel responsible for her mother’s care failed to properly monitor our client’s fetal monitoring strips for signs of a distressed delivery. Although our client’s twin sibling was born healthy, our client suffered an anoxic event during labor and delivery and now suffers from cerebral palsy.
Our law firm was engaged to commence a lawsuit against the hospital and physicians who were in charge of our client’s birth, and as part of our aggressive pursuit of information during the litigation discovery process, Senior Trial Attorney CaraMia Hart conducted an initial deposition of the target defendant physician, who played several key roles in our client’s care, including the admitting physician for our client’s mother, the attending physician overseeing our client’s mother’s care, and the doctor who ultimately performed the C-section during our client’s birth.
Over the course of three separate sessions, Ms. Hart’s aggressive deposition of the defendant doctor was continuously delayed and obstructed by the defendant’s counsel. Nevertheless, Ms. Hart believed that an additional session was required because the defendant doctor failed to bring the fetal monitoring strips – critical evidence in the case – to his depositions. The defendant’s counsel, seeking to prevent testimony regarding the fetal monitoring strips, moved for a protective order to halt any further questioning.
In response, Appellate Attorney Benjamin P. Jacobs, together with Ms. Hart, filed an opposition to the defendant’s motion for a protective order. In addition, our team filed a cross-motion to compel the defendant to appear for a further deposition, and specifically to provide answers to Ms. Hart’s questioning regarding the fetal monitoring strips.
On June 23, 2021, an oral argument was held before Kings County Supreme Court Justice Ellen M. Spodek. Defense counsel argued that it was inappropriate to permit questioning regarding the fetal monitoring strips because it had not been demonstrated that the defendant in fact reviewed the strips in connection with our client’s birth. In response, Ms. Hart argued that the defendant played a critical role on our client’s mother’s medical team, and after considering the permissive nature of discovery under New York law, it was both proper and necessary for the defendant to testify about the fetal monitoring strips.
Judge Ellen M. Spodek agreed with Ms. Hart and ruled in favor of our client, ordering the defendant doctor to appear for further questioning and requiring him to bring the fetal monitoring strips to the next deposition.
This matter underscores the importance of refusing to allow an adversary’s delay-and-obstruct tactics to interfere with the completion of thorough discovery. Our attorneys will never be intimidated by defense counsels’ objections or motions, and we will not hesitate to seek judicial intervention when advocating for our clients. That is our commitment as we seek maximum compensation on their behalf.
- Twana Burton-Woods, as Mother and Natural Guardian of T.A.W. v. Kecia Gaither, M.D., Lola Loeb, M.D., Atwal Maninderjit, M.D., Juan Sandoval, M.D. and Brookdale Hospital Medical Center
- Index No.: 7382/2015
- Kings County Supreme Court