BOISE -- Two suspended midwives have reached a $5 million settlement with a Nampa couple who claims the actions of the midwives left their baby with severe and permanent brain damage.
KTVB first reported on Coleen Goodwin and Jerusha Goodwin last week, after the Idaho Midwifery Board suspended their midwifery licenses. The board is investigating the women for their roles in the deaths of three infants in 2010 and 2011. The women have practiced midwifery at The Baby Place, a birthing center in Meridian.
Adam and Victoria Nielson's civil case against Coleen Goodwin, Jerusha Goodwin, Dani Kennedy and The Baby Place, Inc., alleges the conduct of the midwives to be reckless and willfull constituting an extreme deviation from reasonable standards of care. The complaint was filed in May 2010. Dani Kennedy's name was not included in the $5millionstipulated judgement reached late last week.
Attorney Eric Rossman said his client's labor in June 2008 was high-risk from the beginning and that the midwives should have referred Nielson to a hospital for care.
She went to The Baby Place for delivery, said Rossman. When she went into labor, the child was unengaged, meaning it was not down in the birth canal yet. During labor she had a 20-hour active portion of the first stage of labor, and that's an extensive period of time, said Rossman. All of those indicate very high-risk delivery and the baby should have been in the hospital, said Rossman.
The complaint, first filed in May 2010, states that the midwives failed to disclose all risks and alternatives to the parents. And upon delivery the baby was limp and blue and without oxygen at birth. It goes on to state that the midwives at The Baby Place waited 14 minutes after delivery to call paramedics.
The baby was born in complete respiratory distress, meaning it wasn't breathing. And the baby was born in cardiac arrest, meaning its heart wasn't beating properly, said Rossman.
The complaint states that the baby's NICU discharge summary from St. Luke's Regional Medical Center diagnosed the baby with hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and at risk for seizures, hypertension, and gastro esophageal reflux. It also stated, the baby was subsequently diagnosed by her pediatric neurologist with cerebral palsy, developmental delay and other related illnesses and conditions.
Rossman said the baby is now four-years-old.
She now has severe brain damage, limited cognitive function, ability to communicate and process, and very limited motor skills, really no motor skills, said Rossman.
Rossman said even though the civil case has been settled, he hopes it will only be the beginning of another action.
A $5 million judgment will satisfy the hopes or the intentions that we have in trying to bring about change at this clinic, said Rossman.
KTVB reached out to the defendants' attorney and to the Goodwins for comment. They did not return our calls.
According to The Baby Place's website, the Goodwins are now in administrative roles at the birthing center.