Alabama Jury Awards $16 million in Malatesta Case

We reported about the Malatesta v. Brookwood Medical Center case as part of our writings on obstetric violence. The Malatestas sued Brookwood, alleging they were misled about the types of alternative birth services that were offered. The Malatestas wanted a water birth with minimal medical intervention and Brookwood allegedly represented they had full capability to accommodate the birth plan. The Malatestas alleged that when they went in for the delivery, no one was aware of the birth plan and she was subjected to multiple medical interventions over her objections. Recently, the case went to trial and the jury returned a $16 million verdict, which included $10 million in compensatory damages and $1 million for loss of consortium. With the recent release of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ practice bulletin on patient autonomy and now this verdict, there is a larger trend of informed refusal and patient autonomy cases may be starting.

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