116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - A Linn County jury found in favor of a Cedar Rapids couple Tuesday, who sued Mercy Medical Center for negligence, and awarded the couple over $300,000 in civil damages.
The jury, following a week long trial that ended Monday, found the hospital negligent for injuries Jill Fisher, 29, suffered during labor in 2011. The jury reached a verdict after seven hours, coming back about 10 a.m. Tuesday.
According to the verdict form, damages were awarded to both Jill and Mark Fisher.
According to the lawsuit filed in 2013, Jill Fisher's right leg fell out of one of the stirrups, off the delivery bed, when she was positioned to give birth. This caused stretching and tearing of muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilege of Fisher's right hip and upper leg. The nurse, who hadn't secured or adjusted the placement of Fisher's leg, looked away from the patient when the incident occurred, according to trial testimony.
The nurse then placed her leg back in the stirrup and the baby was delivered a short time later, according to the lawsuit. Fisher didn't notice the 'severe pain and impaired” movement until the epidural wore off, according to the lawsuit.
Mark Liabo of Currie and Liabo, Fisher's attorney, said Tuesday Fisher underwent surgery after the incident to repair cartilege in her right hip and had two injections for pain in her hip and low back. The injuries also impacted her employment as a nurse at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She was out of work for two months following the surgery and her job had to be restructured from providing direct patient care to a more administrative or supervisory role because of her physical limits.
Liabo said Fisher continues to have ongoing pain and health issues from the injuries.
Mercy's attorney, Christine Conover, didn't respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
The jury awarded $353,000 in damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of future earnings and losses claimed by Mark Fisher for emotional distress and mental anguish from the incident and injury, according to 6th Judicial District Judge Mary Chicchelly's trial order and verdict. Court costs are also assessed to Mercy.