Just last month, in April 2017, a federal judge recently ruled in favor of plaintiff Marla Dixon against her obstetrician. The tragedy that begun the case started in December of 2012 when Ms. Dixon went into labor. Hers wasn’t expected to be a high-risk pregnancy, but for the next hour and a half, the doctor made one mistake right after the other, including taking an 8-minute phone call from his stockbroker.
During the labor, the doctor ordered nurses to administer a drug meant to strengthen contractions, failed to perform a Cesarean (C) section, and walked away from Dixon’s room for extended periods of time. When the baby, Earl Jr., was finally delivered, he was blue in the face, and his limbs were limp. A medical team had to revive the infant, by which time he had already sustained severe brain damage from lack of oxygen.
According to medical experts who looked at his decisions, Atogho failed to act on signs the fetus was in distress in the Dixon case. The baby’s distress could also have been caused by dehydration, which occurs as the result of contractions and a slight loss of blood supply to the baby. He also continued the drug that encourages contractions at full strength for more than an hour after arriving. According to a nurse in the delivery room, Atogho also never offered to perform a C-section, though Dixon was begging for the procedure to be administered.
Later, the doctor tried to blame Dixon for not pushing hard enough and also sought to cover his tracks by falsifying Dixon’s medical record; the note he added made it appear as if she had refused the C-section. Dixon also wasn’t the first person to sue the doctor, Ata Atogho, for negligence.
Atogho delivered two babies earlier that year who would up permanently brain damaged. A third was disabled for life. All mothers involved were in their teens receiving care at Jessie Trice, which helps many of Miami’s low-income and uninsured residents. In one case, a patient accused Atogho of rushing to deliver her baby and using a vacuum device, which has permanently disfigured her daughter with nerve damage to the shoulder and neck. In another case, which hasn’t yet gone to trial, Atogho is accused of ignoring signs her infant was in distress and waited too long to perform an emergency C-section; her daughter sustained permanent brain damage.
The federal government ended up paying the $33 million to Dixon and her family, as Atogho worked for a federally funded health clinic. None of his personal income was used. However, despite the huge settlement and multiple accusations, Atogho has not received a reprimand or any other disciplinary action against his medical license. He now works in a private practice and has privileges at Jackson North Medical Center and Memorial Miramar Hospital in Broward County.
To read more about this case, visit the article on the Daily Progress. If you need to begin a medical malpractice claim of your own, talk to one of our Peachtree City personal injury attorneys today. Our highly rated lawyers set a high standard of professional excellence for themselves can fully sympathize with our clients. Medical professionals should be held to the highest level of care. When they fail to live up to the trust we invest in them, people could be seriously injured or even killed. Get your case started by contacting us at (770) 631-1811 or filling out our online form for a free case consultation.