ILNews

Justices take case involving stillborn fetus and Med-Mal Act

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a mother of a stillborn fetus satisfied the actual victim requirement under the Medical Malpractice Act.

The justices took the case, Steven Spangler, et al. v. Barbara Bechtel, et al., No. 49S05-1012-CV-703, in the week ending Dec. 31.

In July 2010, the lower appellate court reversed summary judgment in favor of St. Vincent Randolph Hospital, nurse-midwife Barbara Bechtel, and Expectations Women’s Health and Childbearing Center in a suit brought by parents Steven Spangler and Heidi Brown for wrongful death and emotional distress. Their child was stillborn and couldn’t be resuscitated.

The judges ruled the parents have a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress based upon Brown’s direct involvement with the stillbirth and that the parents can assert their claim under the Medical Malpractice Act.

No other cases had addressed whether Brown would qualify as an “actual victim” of negligence able to assert the parents’ claim for emotional distress because she wasn’t physically injured by the malpractice. The judges agreed with the parents’ argument that if an unborn child isn’t a separate person under law, then the unborn child must be a part of the mother, physically and legally.

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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