Malpractice verdict affirmed where one twin dies and the other is brain-damaged
In Wilcoxson-Bey v. Providence Hospital and Debra Wright, M.D., the Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict for the Wilcoxson-Bey family. The family sued after Dr. Wright failed to order daily fetal monitoring of the monoamniotic twin pregnancy, allegedly causing the death of one twin and severe brain damage to the other.
Evidence was presented confirming that where both fetuses share a single amniotic sac, a high-risk pregnancy results. The family also documented that by 2003, the medical literature clearly illustrated the effectiveness of daily fetal monitoring to prevent fetal death or morbidity in this rare situation. The Court of Appeals had reversed the plaintiff family's jury verdict, suggesting that the family had not proved that daily monitoring would have been adequate to change the outcome of this pregnancy. The Supreme Court rejected that analysis and returned the case to the Court of Appeals. Reviewing the evidentiary record, the Court of Appeals held this time that the plaintiff family had presented ample medical and scientific evidence to show that the lack of daily monitoring had, "more probably than not" resulted in the poor outcome experienced by the Wilcoxson-Bey family.