Premature birth prompts suit

by Steve Gonzalez |
Dec. 21, 2004, 2:06pm

Amy Bamper, whose son was born prematurely on June 4, 2002, filed suit against Maryville Women’s Center and Dr. Marlene H. Freeman, M.D. seeking to collect at least $50,000 in damages.

Bamper claims that on April 25, 2002--during her 22nd week of pregnancy--tests indicated high amounts of protein in her urine, but Dr. Freeman did not take immediate action which could have prevented the birth which occurred in the 27th week of gestation.

On Apr 25, 2002, Bamper alleges Dr. Freeman ordered a follow-up 24-hour urine collection, but delayed testing until April 30, 2002.

Bamper also claims that she reported high blood pressure to an employee, agent or servant of Maryville Woman’s Center on April 26, 2002.

On April 30, 2002, Bamper completed the urine test, and received the results of the test on May 1, 2002, according to the suit.

“On or about May 6, 2002, Bamper received notice from Maryville Women’s Center’s agents, servants and employees that the urine collection indicated she had high protein levels in her urine and was told to immediately go to Anderson Hospital,” the complaint states.

“At all times relevant thereto, there existed a duty on part of the defendant, Maryville Women’s Center, including but not limited to, Marlene H. Freeman, M.D., to comply with the applicable standards of care for reasonably well qualified medical providers,” the complaint states.

Bamper alleges that by disregarding its duties, Maryville Women’s Center was guilty of failing to timely and properly treat and diagnose preeclampsia, a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and in postpartum and can affect both the mother and unborn baby.

Bamper also alleges that Maryville Women’s Center permitted the delay of the urine test, failed to obtain additional testing when considering the urine test could be delayed, and failed to appreciate or consider her report of high blood pressure on April 26, 2002.

Bamper claims that as a result of the defendants' negligence, her son was severely and permanently injured, and will be caused great pain and suffering, both mental and physical in the future.

Bamper has hired the Chicago Law Firm of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz to represent her in this case, which was filed in Madison County Circuit Court on Dec. 21.

Robert Kaufmann, M.D., of Pleasant Plains, is an expert witness for Bamper who filed an affidavit affirming the merits of her case.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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