Regrettably, a baby is often the victim of medical malpractice. It is estimated that a birth injury occurs seven (7) times for every 1,000 deliveries. Events during delivery can result in the fetus suffering from an asphyxial insult resulting in long-term neurologic damages to the newborn (cerebral palsy). These insults are often preventable medical errors that can be avoided if the healthcare providers properly interpret the electronic fetal monitor. The fetal monitor is a means whereby the fetus communicates how he or she is tolerating delivery to the healthcare providers. If healthcare providers do not listen to (observe) these communications, tragic outcomes occur.
In an effort to protect physicians, the Pennsylvania legislature in 2002 passed a law called the Statute of Repose (read the full text of the Statute of Repose). This Statute differs from Pennsylvania's Statute of Limitations in that the deadlines imposed for the filing of lawsuits are very strict. Although there are many situations where the Statute of Limitations can be avoided, there are very few exceptions to Pennsylvania's Statute of Repose in medical malpractice cases. In fact, Pennsylvania's Statute of Repose is extraordinarily restrictive and sets forth a firm time limit after which the rights of a medical malpractice victim will no longer be protected.