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Jury returns verdict in favor of physicans in medical malpractice case

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A Richmond County Superior Court jury last week absolved two physicians of malpractice in the loss of a patient’s vision.

The verdict in favor of Drs. Jolene Montano and Jennifer Bartley was reached Friday night.

Jonathan and Brooke Wood filed suit in October 2009 alleging misdiagnoses and treatment of preeclampsia. Montano provided prenatal care for Brooke Wood and Bartley was the physician on call who saw her at the emergency room in April 2008. She delivered a daughter by emergency cesarean section on April 7.

According to trial testimony and court documents, the Woods contended Brooke Wood exhibited symptoms that should have alerted Montano that she was in danger of developing the dangerous medical condition of spiking blood pressure in women who had never had high blood pressure before pregnancy.

By the time she went to the emergency room, preeclampsia should have been the obvious diagnoses that required an emergency delivery, according to the Woods’ court documents.

However, the medical information recorded at the time of Wood’s prenatal care did not rise to a level that preeclampsia should have been suspected. In addition, while Bartley did suspect preeclampsia after seeing Wood in the emergency room, Wood’s pregnancy was too early to automatically opt for an emergency delivery, according to documents.

Bartley ordered bed rest and follow-up lab tests. Once the lab tests came back positive for preeclampsia the next day, Montano performed the emergency C-section.

Wood, who was temporarily blind at the time of the delivery, did recover most of her vision. She continued to see Montano and Bartley for several office visits after the delivery, according to court documents.


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