California Parents Sue for Child’s Wrongful Death

Ava Lawson | April 17th, 2014 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Child Wrongful Death Lawsuit – Failure to Recognize Fetal DistressOn February 4, 2014, California parents initiated legal action for the alleged wrongful death of their newborn, alleging the attending doctors and staff failed to recognize and promptly respond to signs of fetal distress.

The child wrongful death lawsuit names the following as defendants:

  • Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
  • Southern California Permanente Medical Group
  • Jerry Kun Yu, M.D.
  • Reinaldo V. Ruiz, M.D.
  • And several other unnamed health care providers

Parents allege birth injury malpractice

The medical malpractice lawsuit was brought in California Superior Court for the County of San Bernadino, where the plaintiffs are demanding compensatory damages for funeral expenses, economic losses, legal and attorney costs and actual damages, according to proof.  Causes of action against the defendants include medical malpractice and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

According to the complaint, the mother plaintiff underwent an amniocentesis on January 8, 2013, during which time her membranes were prematurely ruptured. Considered a “high risk” pregnancy, the plaintiff sought medical attention from Fontana Medical Center in the following weeks, since she was concerned about the health of her unborn child.

The suit claims that personnel at this Kaiser-owned clinic were negligent in their duty in “recognizing or acting on the symptoms of preterm premature ruptured membranes.” She further argues that in failing to provide an acceptable standard of care, the defendants’ actions ultimately caused the death of her child in utero.

The pre-labor delivery room personnel should be held liable for failing to monitor for signs of fetal distress, claims the California couple. According to the child wrongful death lawsuit, the sudden death of their baby has caused the couple to suffer physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering, as well as permanent disability.

Damages sought by the claimants include compensation to account for the rehabilitation and recovery of the mother, who has experienced significant emotional distress.

Preterm premature ruptured membranes

Preterm premature rupture of the membranes is a rupture of the amniotic sac before 37 weeks gestation. This complication is a relatively rare occurrence, typically occurring in about 3 percent of pregnancies. If not detected immediately, a ruptured fetal membrane can pose serious dangers to the wellbeing of both the mother and child. The fetus is at greater risk for respiratory distress and death. Other complications associated with this condition are placental abruption, neonatal sepsis and umbilical cord prolapse.

Expectant mothers who suspect something is amiss with their pregnancy depend on the skill and competent care of medical professionals. When substandard treatment is provided, or warning signs are dismissed, catastrophic consequences often ensue.

Helping those who’ve been injured by medical malpractice for more than 40 years, the attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch realize the emotional and financial tolls placed on the victims of such injustice. We have witnessed the dire ramifications of doctor negligence and are dedicated to helping families understand their legal options in the face of such tragedy.

While no amount of money can ease your pain and suffering, a court award or settlement may help bring a sense of closure and hold negligent parties responsible for their actions. To arrange a free and confidential assessment of your case, please call our offices at 1-855-60-BIRTH.


  1. American Family Physician, Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes: Diagnosis and Management, http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0215/p659.html

  2. Patient.co.uk, Fetal Distress, http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/fetal-distress