A hard-fought two-week trial ends in vindication for a Birmingham couple. Last night, a Jefferson County jury returned a verdict in the amount of $16 million for Caroline and J.T. Malatesta and against Brookwood Medical Center. The Malatestas were represented by MRB attorneys David Marsh and Rip Andrews
In March 2012, Caroline wanted nothing more than a safe and uneventful natural childbirth experience. After having three healthy children in the standard medicated way, Caroline was first drawn to natural childbirth by the ads Brookwood Medical Center ran on television, magazines and the internet. Those Brookwood ads emphasized a mother’s choice, individual birthing plans, freedom of movement and even mentioned water births. Caroline met with her newly chosen doctor at Brookwood and asked lots of questions before finally committing to a delivery at Brookwood.
The so-called natural childbirth experience at Brookwood turned out to be a nightmare for the Malatestas. Caroline had no freedom of movement; instead, she was restrained, sometimes forcibly. Caroline was offered no choice; it was the nurses’ way or no way. Thankfully, Caroline delivered a healthy son but was left with painful and debilitating physical injuries she will have to endure the rest of her life. These injuries leave her little ability to be the sort of mother or wife she was before all this happened.
Brookwood defended the case by both blaming Caroline and trying to prove her injuries didn’t occur during delivery.
According to Rip, the jury’s simple message was when hospitals advertise to potential patients, they must tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.