The next morning, the woman's husband called her to check on her, but she did not answer. He then called a neighbor, who found her having a seizure. She was transported to a hospital and diagnosed with eclampsia.
An emergency cesarean delivery was performed, and the infant was born with neurologic impairments. The child lived about a year and a half. The mother suffered hypoxia-induced neurologic injuries and sepsis, as well as some lung problems, which led to a stroke and another hypoxic episode. She was hospitalized for 7 months and was unable to leave her wheelchair. She had difficulty with speech and required 24-hour care.
In the lawsuit that followed, the patient claimed that the obstetrician was negligent in failing to diagnose preeclampsia and treat her appropriately, thus preventing the seizure and neurologic damage to her and to the infant. The physician claimed that the patient had shown no signs of preeclampsia and that although she had had some protein in her urine and her blood pressure was elevated, neither was in the range indicative of preeclampsia.
A defense verdict was returned.