Families of women who have died during pregnancy or labor as a result of medical malpractice may be able to bring a civil lawsuit against the responsible party for the recovery of damages. The family may be suffering from a loss of income due to the mother's death if she was employed. They may also need to take time off themselves to care for any surviving dependents. The impact of such a loss may be far-reaching, and financial compensation may help families access the resources they need to adjust.
It is not necessary for a medical professional to have committed a crime for a medical malpractice suit to be successful. In a few rare cases, a crime may have been committed, but even if that is believed to be the case, if the medical professional is found not guilty, a civil suit may still be successful. The elements needed for a wrongful death suit are death as a result of recklessness, negligence, or intentional misconduct and financial loss resulting from the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit may arise from an action such as a failure to get an adequate medical history prior to a procedure like a cesarean section, but it may also be the result of a faulty medical device. In such a case, the suit may be filed against a manufacturer or distributor.
A family that is suffering from the loss of a mother in such a situation may wish to consult an attorney regarding their options. For example, a medical team may have failed to note in adequate time that a mother in labor was in medical distress, and this lack of action might have led to her death. A wrongful death suit might compensate her new infant, her spouse and their other children.
Source: FindLaw, "Wrongful Death of the Mother", accessed on March 2, 2015