Tianna Brodeur awarded $5.2 million for VBAC birth

Tianna Brodeur awarded $5.2 million for VBAC birth

A B.C Judge has ruled in favor of Tianna Brodeur awarding her $5.2 million since her cerebral palsy has been attributed to malpractice from nurses and doctor during her birth. The 16-year-old teenager, according to the B.C. Supreme Court judgment, suffered brain damage due to the asphyxia when the mother’s previous Cesarean section ruptured during delivery.

The ruling provides details of what is known as vaginal birth after Cesarean section or VBAC.  Justice Neena Sharma wrote in her 82-page decision, “Amanda Brodeur gave birth to a baby girl on September 21, 1999. Instead of an occasion filled with joy and happiness, it was a traumatic event which left her daughter with life-long cognitive and physical disabilities."

According to the document, the doctor and nurses failed to recognize the gravity of the situation and did not act accordingly. 

Usually, when a woman has had C-section for delivery, it is established that her next deliveries will be the same since doctors are not willing to take risks.  However, more doctors are choosing the option of VBAC due to the complications that may arise from a C-section. Sharma writes that "This was preferred in order to reduce the risks associated with caesarean section deliveries…”

According to Amanda Brodeur’s family, she was not given enough details of the risks associated with a VBAC birth. Of the details of Amanda’s delivery, it is stated that at 18:30, the mother was nauseated and vomiting. At 21:54 the baby´s heart rate had dropped.  This is where the actions of Dr. Dayna Freedman were studied.

According to Sharma, Freedman failed on two occasions: "by failing to immediately recognize the report of unusual pain as a possible sign of uterine rupture, and by not immediately calling" a senior doctor.”

Teenager Tianna Brodeur is not completely disabled but it she will never be able to lead an independent life.  Her parents recognize that they will care for her until they die at which time she would move on to live with her sister.  The cost of future care was estimated by the judge to be $3.2 million with a total amount of damages adding up to $5.2 million.

The hospital has not issued an official report about the decision.