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Vero Beach Couple Sues Indian River Medical Center For Son’s Birth Injury

IRMC-4.jpg A little over three years ago, at thirty-eight weeks pregnant, Melissa Guettler walked into the Indian River Medical Center intending to have her labor induced so that she could naturally deliver her baby boy. According to Guettler’s attorney, after admission to the hospital, Guettler began to display warning signs that something was wrong. Hospital staff ignored these warnings and Guettler was forced to have an emergency cesarean section. During the cesarean section, doctors discovered that Guettler’s uterus had ruptured and quickly delivered her son Patrick, who was not breathing at the time. Hospital staff was able to revive Patrick, but he now has cerebral palsy, which Guettler and her husband Conrad argue is a result of medical malpractice. The Guettlers are seeking $6.5 to $10 million for Patrick’s lifetime care as they contend the doctor’s negligence was what cause his brain damage at birth.

During the trial’s opening arguments, which began January 5, 2012, the Guettlers alleged that an inexperienced nurse attending to Melissa triggered a chain of events that led to both their son’s cerebral palsy and the removal of Melissa’s reproductive organs. Attorneys for the Indian River Medical Center claimed that the medical problems arose when Melissa’s uterus ruptured, which was unforeseeable and there was nothing doctors could have done to prevent the rupture. The trial is expected to take weeks, with numerous experts from across the nation scheduled to testify.

Three-year old Patrick’s intellect is fine despite having cerebral palsy; however, he falls a lot, can’t speak well and “slobbers so much he sleeps between his parents so they can prevent him choking.” Melissa Guettler, who had three children without any problems before Patrick, is now no longer able to have children because her reproductive organs were removed during the cesarean section. The Guettler’s multimillion-dollar request does not include damages for Melissa’s loss of her reproductive organs.

St. Lucie couple seeks lifelong care for brain-damaged infant, as medical malpractice trial begins, www.tcpalm.com January 5, 2012.


Most parents never expect their child will suffer a brain injury at birth. As a result, many parents never plan for such an incident. The Guettlers lives instantly changed the moment doctors ordered Melissa to have an emergency cesarean section. Doctors are expected to use a reasonable degree of care, and when they fail to do so, the resulting injuries can be devastating. Children who suffer birth injuries require lifelong care and these medical bills can often be astronomical. The Fort Lauderdale birth injury attorneys at the Friedland Law Group have over twenty years of combined experience helping victims of medical malpractice recover the compensation they deserve. If your child has suffered a birth injury as a result of a doctor’s negligence, call the Miami medical malpractice attorneys at (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!

The Miami birth injury attorneys at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of medical malpractice cases throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!