Washington Midwife Sued After Baby dies, Another Hurt

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 Two families are suing a Chehalis midwife after the death of a baby and another paralyzed during childbirth.

According to the complaint filed, a couple said the midwife’s misguided delivery tactics during their son’s birth in 2014 resulted in permanent paralysis and dysfunction in his arm and shoulder.

Scott and Seng Hamilton say that the midwife, Laura Hamilton, used excessive traction and pulled and twisted their son Zachary’s head and neck while trying to deliver him. Scott and Laura Hamilton are also distant cousins.

I couldn’t push the baby out. And during the pushing I felt pain and folks around me were panicking,” said Seng Hamilton.

When her baby emerged, Send said his face was purple and his right arm was like “a limp noodle.” Seng claims that a friend who witnessed the birth called 911 however when the EMTs arrived, Laura Hamilton turned them away.

“I trusted her. She’s been in business for 30 years I see all those baby pictures. She told us stories of births, successful births, so again I trusted her. I was confident in her skills,” said Seng Hamilton.

Another suit was filed in Cowlitz County last month, where Kylie Frost and Zachary Sprague claim that Hamilton ignored obvious signs of medical distress and failed to provide Frost with proper medical attention, which led to her child’s death.

Had that been treated, Oliver would be alive today. Had she been properly advised to go the hospital when she passed fist sized blood clots, Oliver would be alive today. It didn’t happen and Oliver is not with us,” Frost’s lawyer, Simeon Osborn, said.

Laura Hamilton’s lawyer said in a statement “Unfortunately mothers do not always have good outcomes in childbirth, despite good care.  Laura Hamilton gave good care to these mothers and will defend that care in court. We have no further comment at this time.”

These complaints follow a lawsuit filed in 2014, by a couple claiming the midwife’s negligence during their child’s birth in 2010 which permanently injured their baby’s arm. However, a Lewis County jury found that she was not negligent.

There is also an informal disposition against Laura Hamilton in 1998 for conduct treating 3 patients. The court then mandated her to improve clinic protocols and obtain peer oversight of some clinic practices. Again, no state action was taken against her or her license.

Laura Hamilton does have an active midwife license which was issued on August 29, 1983 and recently renewed on May 27, 2016.

Her website says she graduated from the Seattle Midwifery School.

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