Last month, two separate Washington State families filed malpractice lawsuits against Laura Hamilton, who each had hired as their midwife. According to the lawsuit filed by Kylie Frost and Zachariah Sprague, the alleged negligence of Hamilton led to the death of their child. The second family, Scott and Seng Hamilton, who are distant cousins of Laura Hamilton, claim that her missteps during the delivery of their child caused irreversible nerve damage and paralysis to his arm. Both malpractice lawsuits have been filed in Cowlitz County Superior Court in Kelso, Washington.
According to the Frost and Sprague lawsuit, in December 2014 Kylie Frost was past her delivery date when she began passing blood clots. Concerned with the bleeding she contacted Laura Hamilton. The lawsuit alleges that Hamilton told Frost the bleeding was normal and that she would not see her for a checkup. Sprague’s mother then called the Providence Hospital in Centralia to get their opinion on her daughter-in-law’s condition. When they told her that Frost needed medical assistance immediately, they called back Hamilton who then agreed to see her.
When they arrived at Hamilton’s office she was not concerned even though the bleeding had not stopped. According to the suit Hamilton then had Frost sit in a hot tub. At that point Frost claimed to have felt an intense pain in her stomach. Hamilton got Frost out of the tub to check the baby. Using an ultra sound, she was not able to find a heart rate, prompting her to call 911, which was allegedly more than four hours after Frost had arrived at her office. Frost was then rushed to Providence Hospital where they found that her child named Oliver was a stillborn.
“Had she been properly advised to go to the hospital when she passed fist sized blood clots, Oliver would be alive today,” said the attorney representing both families. “It didn’t happen and Oliver is not with us.”
This is not the first malpractice lawsuit brought against Laura Hamilton. In 2014 another family also accused her of causing irreversible nerve damage to their baby during delivery. Hamilton was not found negligent in that suit, but the ruling is being appealed. Scott and Seng Hamilton are now bringing Hamilton back to court for similar reasons. Their lawsuit alleges that Laura Hamilton “used excessive traction and pulled and twisted Zachary’s head and neck to attempt to deliver him,” which they claim caused permanent nerve damage to their baby.
“This pattern of preventable, unthinkable outcomes is an outrage,” said the families’ lawyer. “It’s beyond comprehension that a woman who touts her skills and experience as a midwife could overlook such obvious signs of fetal distress in these births.”