Woman claims unborn child died from migraine medicine in suit against doctors

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 9, 2009

A Collinsville woman has filed suit against two doctors, alleging her unborn child died because she ingested migraine medicine.

James J. Dalla-Riva and Thomas M. Hulsen were treating Kathryn Ball throughout her pregnancy and authorized her to take the prescription medication Propranolol, according to the complaint filed Feb. 2 in Madison County Circuit Court.

However, the doctors did not tell her the drug carried a high risk of placental insufficiency, insufficient uterine growth rate and could threaten the life of the baby in utero, the suit states.

Throughout her pregnancy, Ball suffered bleeding and lower abdominal pain, she claims.

Because of the doctors' alleged negligence, Ball's baby died on March 29, 2004, one month before its April 21 due date, according to the complaint.

Before its death, the baby experienced great pain and suffering, the suit states.

The baby's death has caused its next-of-kin to suffer the loss of its companionship and society, the suit states.

In addition, Ball claims she incurred funeral and burial expenses, incurred the need for additional medical and surgical care and suffered physical and emotional injury.

Dalla-Riva and Hulsen were negligent by failing to inform Ball of the risks and danger of using Propranolol, by failing to adequately monitor or assess the fetal growth and by failing to adequately or timely intervene when the placental insufficiency was present, Ball claims.

Both doctors also negligently failed to properly or adequately view the ultrasound examinations, failed to perform ultrasounds throughout the last two months of Ball's pregnancy and maintained Ball on her medication during her pregnancy, according to the complaint.

In the eight-count complaint, Ball is seeking a judgment in excess of $400,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

She will be represented by Donald M. Flack of Flack Law Office in Wood River.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0088.

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