Oregon Water Birth Leaves Baby Disabled, Lawsuit Wants Labor Options Banned

A botched Oregon water birth left a newborn with permanent disabilities and prompted the parents to filed a $35 million lawsuit against the hospital. Water births may soon be banned at all five of the Legacy Health Systems hospitals.

Amy Benton and Matthew Marino said their son Luca suffered hearing problems, cerebral palsy, and other health issues as a result of the Oregon water birth. The couple claims that Legacy Health Systems did not warn them about water birth dangers before Luca was delivered in 2011.

The Oregon Legacy Health Systems hospital staff did not deliver the baby on time and therefore deprived the infant of oxygen, the water birth lawsuit alleges. Matthew Marino and Amy Benton filed the lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The $35 million requested will reportedly be used for their son Luca’s continued care. The cerebral palsy, hearing loss and other disabilities the parents feel are a result of the Oregon water birth all reportedly require expensive extended care.

water birth
Matthew Marino and baby Luca.

The Oregon water birth lawsuit also claims that the delivery should not have been approved by Legacy Health Systems Medical staff because of complications Amy Benton experienced during the pregnancy. The legal filing maintains that Luca should have been delivered via C-section instead.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have not reportedly established the safety of water births. The Oregon parents maintain the hospital staffers did not monitor the baby’s heart rate continuously and failed to immediately resuscitate him after he was born, resulting in oxygen deprivation.

Oregon water birth lawsuit
Amy Benton and baby Luca.
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The water birth lawsuit goes on to claim that the Oregon hospital permitted inadequately trained nurses and midwives to control the delivery without a doctor present. “This boy will need a great deal of care the rest of his life,”
Rich Rogers, the attorney for the family, stated during an interview with the Portland Business Journal. “His parents had their lives greatly altered. The sad thing is none of it had to happen. Legacy failed to inform Amy and Matthew of the dangers of water birth and failed to provide a safe environment for the baby’s birth,” Rogers added.

The Oregon water birth lawsuit states that $23 million of the requested funds would be used for the current and future medical expenses incurred by Luca. Three million of the lawsuit total amount would be used for the “loss of future hearing capacity” issues. A total of $10 million requested by the parents would be to compensate Luca for his pain and suffering.

What do you think about the Oregon water birth lawsuit?

[Images via: Art of Nursing and Facebook]