Obstetrical Malpractice

“…Sommers & Roth is recognized as one of the leading medical malpractice firms in Canada. I agree with this assertion. Both Mr. Elmaleh and Mr. Seibart … have a great deal of experience in litigating obstetrical negligence actions.”---Judge of the Superior Court of Ontario

Birth Trauma & Injury Lawyer in Canada

Birth Trauma Lawyer
We consider obstetrical negligence/obstetrical malpractice to be our ‘sub-specialty’, as demonstrated by a sample of the cases we have successfully litigated countless successful cases and recovered millions of dollars at-trial for clients affected by birth injury.

Hundreds of thousands of healthy babies are born in Canada every year. Sometimes complications in pregnancy, labour and delivery can arise. In a small number of births, obstetricians (OBGYN), nurses, midwives, ultrasound technicians or other health-care professionals make errors that injure the mother and/or her baby and significantly affect their lives post-birth.

The long-term effects of obstetrical malpractice can include neurological injury and permanent brain damage, disabilities such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy/seizures, cardio-pulmonary disorders, scoliosis, paralysis, quadriplegia, cognitive impairment, developmental disabilities, intellectual delay, learning disabilities, ADHD-like symptoms, auditory neuropathy (hearing loss), and ophthalmological disorders such as Neurological visual impairment (NVI) (referred to as cortical visual impairment (CVI) and/or cortical blindness).

Parents of children injured by obstetrical malpractice during pregnancy, labour and delivery often are never informed that their baby’s injury and permanent disability may have been caused by medical malpractice and that they should contact a medical malpractice lawyer. In some cases, the injury is not recognized until the baby is old enough to miss normal milestones in physical and/or intellectual development, or be delayed in meeting those milestones.

Brain Damage or Physical Injury After a Difficult Pregnancy, Labor And Delivery

Children or mothers injured due to medical error or negligence during childbirth may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and can bring an obstetric malpractice claim to recover damages. Obstetric malpractice claims often raise complex questions of both medicine and law, and require representation by lawyers with in-depth knowledge and extensive medical malpractice trial experience. At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, we are leaders in the field of medical malpractice law, regularly litigating successful cases, setting ground-breaking precedents, and always at the forefront of developments in the practice area.

$8.5 Million Trial Award for Family, More Than 20 Years After Botched Birth and Destruction of Medical Records

At birth the baby was floppy and did not cry. Her skin was blue and she required resuscitation. There was a sense of panic in the room. At one hour of age, the infant was still profoundly acidotic and hypoxemic. The baby was transferred to The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids Hospital), with evidence of meconium aspiration, seizures and low blood glucose levels. The baby suffered permanent neurological deficits due to birth asphyxia.

Mr. Elmaleh and the team at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh obtained a Judgment against University Health Network (Toronto General Hospital) on behalf of a girl who suffered asphyxia and resulting brain injury at birth. The Court found that the obstetrical nurse was at fault for not monitoring the unborn baby’s heartbeat properly. The Judgment was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal. This case was also complicated by the defendant Hospital’s illegal destruction of the labour and delivery records, including the electronic fetal heartrate monitor tracing.

    If you have been affected by medical malpractice anywhere in Canada contact us for a free consultation.
    You pay us nothing unless we win.



    A lawyer from Sommers Roth & Elmaleh will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please note that no lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by your inquiry. All information provided is confidential.

    The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.


    Common Errors Made Before or During Pregnancy

    Over the course of pregnancy (sometimes referred to at the pre-natal, antenatal or antepartum stage), a diligent obstetrician will detect potential issues and take precautions. However, these can be missed or ignored. Common errors include:

    • Failure to diagnose pregnancy and prescribing medications or drugs that can cause birth defects or brain damage, such as skin treatment medication (Accutane/Isotretinoin), anticonvulsants or epilepsy medication (magnesium sulfate, valproic acid/valproate), anticoagulants (heparin or warfarin);
    • Failure to monitor a mother’s weight, measure symphysis-fundal height (SFH) or take a history of prior deliveries;
    • Failure to detect and treat gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM);
    • Failure to detect abnormal fetal development such as Intrauterine growth restriction/ fetal growth restriction (IUGR), reduced fetal growth/small for gestational age, or detect macrosomia (large for gestational age);
    • Failure to perform genetic testing;
    • Failure to test for and treat viral or bacterial infections during pregnancy such as Herpes (e.g.: Cytomegalovirus or CMV), Sexually Transmitted Diseases (such as Syphilis, Chlamydia, or Gonorrhea), or Listeria or Group B streptococcus (GBS), and plan accordingly, e.g.: administer antibiotics and prepare for caesarean section (c-section);
    • Failure to order, perform or interpret diagnostic testing, such as an ultrasound, biophysical profiles, non-stress tests, sonogram or blood test;
    • Failure to recognize or properly respond to bleeding;
    • Failure to detect oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid), polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid), or fetal hydrops/mirror syndrome;
    • Failure to detect abnormal baby’s (fetal) development or cephalopelvic disproportion;
    • Failure to detect congenital (genetic) birth defects, or malformations including spina bifida, cleft palate, clubfoot, omphalocele and congenital dislocated hip;
    • Failure to detect placental issues such as placental insufficiency (uteroplacental vascular insufficiency), placental previa, or placental abruption;
    • Twin-to-twin transfusion: failure to detect growth discordance or amniotic fluid discordance.

    Common Errors Made During Birth Labour & Delivery

    There are certain common medical errors made by obstetricians and other medical professionals such as nurses or midwives during delivery that may lead to serious, life-long injury to the baby or the mother. These errors include:

    • Unnecessary delay in delivery, including delay in performing a caesarian section (c section);
    • Mistakes during breech delivery;
    • Mistakes made during assisted delivery, including improper forceps and vacuum extractions (which can cause cephalohematoma and caput);
    • Misuse of prostin, prostaglandin, oxytocin, or syntocin, which is used to induce labour;
    • Delay in recognizing problems with fetal heart rate;
    • Failure to monitor fetal heart rate (tachycardia, bradycardia, late decelerations) and respond to a non-reassuring or ominous fetal heart rate;
    • Failure to respond to signs of fetal distress, including an emergency caesarean section (c section);
    • Failure or delay in recognizing umbilical cord compression, umbilical cord prolapse, umbilical cord tangle, nuchal cord;
    • Maneuvers to deliver a baby during shoulder dystocia;
    • Failure to recognize and respond to uterine rupture or placental abruption;
    • Misinterpretation of fetal heart monitoring strips;
    • Leaving the baby without oxygen for a prolonged period of time (asphyxia).

    Babies injured during birth can suffer serious, permanent brain injuries, brachial plexus injury, or other disorders such as cerebral palsy. Neonates (newborns) with brain injury often experience brain dysfunction shortly after birth called neonatal encephalopathy (NE) or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

    Common Errors Made After Birth/Delivery (Neonatal)

    There are certain common errors made by pediatricians, hospital nurses and other medical professionals following delivery that may lead to serious injury to the baby. These errors include:

    • failure to detect and treat hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice), which can cause neurological disorders and permanent disabilities such as Bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction (BIND);
    • failure to treat meconium aspiration syndrome;
    • failure to monitor neonatal glucose for hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia;
    • failure to detect and treat infection (such as meningitis and encephalitis);
    • failure to treat complications of neonatal encephalopathy caused by asphyxia or hypoxia-ischemia such as Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPNH), seizures;
    • Improper use of neo-natal treatments including lorazepam, phenobarbital, dilantin, resuscitation, neonatal therapeutic hypothermia, and/or cooling therapy.

    Injuries to newborn babies can have devastating consequences and lead to permanent brain injury and cerebral palsy.

    Damages in Obstetric Malpractice Cases

    A child or a mother who suffered a birth injury a result of a medical error or medical negligence may be eligible for the following types of damages (i.e. compensation):

    • General Damages: money awarded in recognition of the stress and anxiety of raising a child with disability.

      In addition to damages that may be awarded to victims and families in recognition of the injuries suffered, families may also be eligible to receive other compensation. This includes funds for:

      • Home Accessibility Modifications including necessary elements such as widened doorways, a modified kitchen, or customized bathrooms.
      • Attendant Care Services including any that are not covered by provincial government funding, including personal support workers (PSW), disability support workers (DSW), or private nurses (RN/RPN).
      • Purchase of a New Home with better access to hospital and other medical care.

      Reach Out to our Compassionate Birth Injury Lawyers of Sommers Roth & Elmaleh

      For over 40 years, we have won multimillion dollar awards for our clients that pay for their child’s care, therapies, equipment, medical supplies, modified housing and transportation, and other expenses. The highly experienced and respected medical malpractice lawyers at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh can walk you through the process of making an obstetric malpractice claim, and help explain what sort of compensation you may be able to obtain. In order to succeed in an obstetrical malpractice lawsuit, we retain numerous experts including experts in obstetrics, perinatology, neonatology, pediatric neurology, pediatric neuroradiology, genetics, and other speciality areas, and typically invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into each of our client’s cases.

      Connect with Our Birth Injury Lawyers to Obtain Compensation in Obstetric Malpractice Cases

      If you or your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical error or a health care professional’s negligence, contact Sommers Roth & Elmaleh for trusted legal advice and guidance. Our lawyers are well respected in both the legal and medical communities and have assisted clients in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec. We offer compassionate, skilled, and knowledgeable guidance on all aspects of obstetric malpractice claims. Contact us online or call us at 1-844-777-7372 for a free consultation.

      Our Notable Birth Injury Cases

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      The dedicated, driven, and experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Sommers Roth & Elmaleh regularly assist clients and families with a wide variety of medical malpractice claims, including:

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        If you have been affected by medical malpractice anywhere in Canada contact us for a free consultation.
        You pay us nothing unless we win.



        A lawyer from Sommers Roth & Elmaleh will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please note that no lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by your inquiry. All information provided is confidential.

        The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.


        FAQ

        Can you claim for a birth injury?

        Yes, you may be eligible to claim compensation for a birth injury if the injury was caused by medical negligence or malpractice.

        What is considered a birth injury?

        Any physical harm or trauma suffered by a newborn during the birthing process is referred to as a birth injury. Cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, fractures, and oxygen deprivation are some examples of such conditions.

        What are the long-term effects of birth injuries?

        The long-term effects of birth injuries vary based on the nature and severity of the injury. Developmental delays, cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, and, in rare situations, long-term emotional or psychological effects are possible. A consultation with a birth injury lawyer can assist you in figuring out the exact consequences of your situation.

        What info does an Ontario birth injury lawyer need?

        To analyze your case, an Ontario birth injury lawyer may require information regarding the patient's medical background, the circumstances of the birth, and any relevant medical records.

        What is the most common birth trauma?

        The most common birth traumas include head and brain injuries, brachial plexus injuries, fractures, and oxygen deprivation. Each case is unique, and a birth trauma lawyer can provide insights about your situation.

        How much compensation for a birth trauma?

        The amount of compensation varies depending on factors such as the severity of the injury, medical expenses, and long-term impact. For a more accurate estimate, consult with a birth trauma lawyer.

        Can a traumatic birth cause problems later in life?

        Yes, a traumatic birth can cause problems later in life. The effects could vary from developmental to physical to mental health issues. It is critical to monitor and address any concerns with medical specialists in order to offer proper treatment and support for individuals who have suffered a traumatic birth.

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        Hilt this Tamrate
        Hilt this Tamrate
        23 May 2023
        Dear Mr Hilik Y. And Jeremy Syrtash. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you and Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation staff for all you have done with respect to my wife case. My wife was a victim of Medical Malpractice after giving birth to our daughter. She become legally disabled both physically and mentally. The entire family devastated emotionally as my wife struggle to cope with the new reality. The case of Medical Malpractice is quite often a complex case to prove. However, due to your strong commitment, knowledge and dedication combined with strong professionalism the case was successfully won after a long arduous fight. The victory would not have been possible without your dedication and thorough research in the implementation of the standards of the Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation. Justice prevailed at last which in turn allowed my vulnerable wife to feel more optimistic about her future and that of our family. The positive outcome of this case has changed our lives forever. It would not have been possible without the excellent representation of Sommers Roth and Elmaleh Professional Corporation and its legal counsel. My wife and I will be deeply grateful for the successful outcome of this case for many years to come. Solomon Regassa
        Hector Cardenas
        Hector Cardenas
        4 January 2023
        I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude towards Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, from the day I met with Hilik and his team, they been not only highly knowledgeable but also extremely sensitive towards me and my family, providing us with the best legal service possible. It goes without saying, that I strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a charismatic, quality and result oriented legal team.
        JERRY ZHOU
        JERRY ZHOU
        10 October 2022
        We deeply appreciate Sommers Roth & Elmaleh for their professional skills and hard-working through the whole process of my son’s case. I still remember the first conversation we took with Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh in his lawyer office sixteen years ago. From then on, your dedication, patience, understanding and continuous communications kept our encouragements and expectations for my son and our family. With the case settled down, my son can receive the full financial support, continuous therapies and finishing his university course. It is no doubt to say that Sommers Roth & Elmaleh not only changed our family’s life but also did contributions to the society, because my son can grow in a happy and health way in his teenage and receive university education from this autumn. Again we hereby strongly recommend the services provided by the lawyer office Sommers Roth & Elmaleh to those who needs the similar legal consultation and support. Even the door of your family was closed by some unfortunate events, there are more windows can be opened. The lawyers in Sommers Roth & Elmaleh are exactly the people who can open the windows and convert the sun-shine again to your family: Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh,Mr.Jeremy Syrtash, Miss Fanny Peter ...etc. Finally, we express the deepest gratitude and appreciation again to Mr. Hilik Y Elmaleh and lawyer office Sommers Roth & Elmaleh. Wish a brighter future of Sommers Roth & Elmaleh !
        Meggie Zhangkrk6hdjybfjt
        Meggie Zhangkrk6hdjybfjt
        6 October 2022
        I am so glad that my son's CP medical case was completely successful. I appreciate lawyer Hilik Elmaleh, Jeremy Syrtash, Fanny Peter and their team's hard work. They are so knowledgeable, responsible and reliable. Thanks is not enough to express my gratitude. Mr. Hilik Elmaleh deserves "The Best Lawyer in Canada" award.
        Tony Zhou
        Tony Zhou
        29 September 2022
        I would like to extend my gratitude towards Mr. Hilik Elmaleh, Jermey Syntash, and Fanny Peter for their dedication, time, effort, and knowledge invested into my case. This is honestly the best team of lawyers in Canada. I would highly recommend them for any of your cases.
        Dianne Keckes
        Dianne Keckes
        18 July 2022
        I would like to take this opportunity to thank our daughter's "Dream Team", Hilik Elmaleh, Jeremy Syrtash and Fanny Peter. The compassion, dedication, knowledge, experience and their recognition in the legal community have ensured us that we were on the right track working with the firm Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh. Words cannot express enough my gratitude! I will be forever grateful!
        Ivica J Sokic
        Ivica J Sokic
        6 June 2022
        Thank you does not begin to express the depth of gratitude I have for Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Professional Corporation. From the first day I sat in Hilik's office, not once did I feel apprehensive. My concerns and worries were put at ease due to the kindness and compassion of Hilik, Jeremy and Fanny and their relentless persistence to secure my daughter's future. This has been a long but successful endeavor during some difficult times and through it all, the Team has been resilient, informative and were always available. I highly recommend this dedicated and professional law firm and I will be forever in their debt.
        Arden Melnechuk
        Arden Melnechuk
        1 December 2021
        I was in a serious horse accident where the horse was injured and should never have been ridden. The owner of the horse was aware that the horse had chronic arthritis issues and the veterinarians at Guelph had told him the horse could decompensate at any time and could cause serious injury whether being led or ridden and could never be jumped again. The horse had been shown at the grand prix level and the owner had payed quite a bit of money for him. After consulting with several lawyers and having one that did represent me at the discoveries who later quit, Jeremy Syrtash took on the case and followed through with guelph university. That is how we found out that the vets had recommended the above. Without Jeremy's efforts and follow through the case would never have continued on. Because of these efforts the case was successful. Thank you so much Jeremy. You are a dedicated, thorough, excellent lawyer and it's been a pleasure to have you as my lawyer!!
        Megha Sharma
        Megha Sharma
        16 April 2021
        Mr. Elmaleh and his team are very professional and experts in their field. Recommend to everyone who has suffered medical negligence.
        Nick & Whitney Maraschiello-Basnett
        Nick & Whitney Maraschiello-Basnett
        18 July 2020
        We want to start by saying how much we highly recommend Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh for anyone who is dealing with a situation involving medical malpractice. Hilik and the entire firm have allowed us the opportunity to give our little girl the life she deserves. There is no taking back what happened, but they truly turned such a tragedy into a victory. They fought long and hard, and put forth so much time and effort into making the individuals accountable and responsible for the mistakes that were made. They always showed true compassion for our family, guided us with ease, and supported us through every step. This was such a life changing experience with the firm, and honestly we will always be forever grateful and thankful.