Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Florida

medical malpractice/birth injury

I recently went through a 3 week med mal trial for my son who we feel was injured at birth. we unfortunately lost the case even though there is clear cut liability negligence from two obstetricians and the hospital where the baby was delivered. ( I suffered from a placental abruption which was not diagnosed until the delivery via emergency c-section) there had been non reactive non reassuring fetal heart monitoring for approx. 6-7 hours before anything was done. I would like to appeal this decision but dont know the proper protocol for this or what my statue of limitations for timing are. More importantly, I dont want to give up the fight for my son who is now six years old. can you advise?

Asked on 7/29/07, 3:36 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Tanya O'Connor Brandon Law Group, PA

Re: medical malpractice/birth injury

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You can appeal the final judgment within thirty days of "rendition" (a signed order being filed by the circuit court clerk). I would recommend discussing the merits of an appeal with your attorney IMMEDIATELY.

Appealing a case like yours will be a very expensive venture, and there may or may not be grounds to establish reversable error on appeal (that means you may not be able to demonstrate that the trial court made a mistake that requires another look at the merits of your case on the trial level).

Most appellate attorneys are retained in a two-step process. In the first step they review your case and provide an opinion as to whether you have an appealable issue. If you do have grounds for challenging the judgment, then your case will be briefed. The bad news is you have to pay for step one in any case, even if the attorney finds no grounds for appeal.

In any event, the Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of your final judgment, or an order denying an "authorized motion." In order to avoid missing this deadline and having your appeal dismissed as untimely, I recommend filing a Notice of Appeal as soon as possible after entry of the final judgment or an authorized motion, even before appellate counsel gives you his/her opinion on the merits of an appeal.

Talk with your trial attorney about your desire to appeal-- ASAP!

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Answered on 7/31/07, 1:03 pm
Alan Wagner Wagner McLaughlin, P.A.

Re: medical malpractice/birth injury

You need to speak with your attornry to determine whether there are grounds for appeal. To appeal, a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after the judgment becomes final. The timing can be tricky depending on what motions, if any, were filed after the verdict.

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Answered on 7/29/07, 4:11 pm

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