DOTHAN COUPLE AWARDED $1.5 MILLION VERDICT IN DEATH OF CHILD
The Dothan Eagle, July 28, 2001
A Dale County jury has returned a $1.5 million verdict against an Ozark physician, ruling his mistakes in treating a pregnant Dothan woman led to the death of her child.
The verdict was returned Thursday in a lawsuit brought by Timothy and Christie Enfinger of Dothan. The Enfingers had sued Dr. Dale Greene, an obstetrician-gynecologist, alleging his actions contributed to the wrongful death of their child, Maria Fay Enfinger, who was stillborn.
According to the Enfingers attorneys, Mike Worel and Jim Yance, of the Mobile law firm of Cunningham, Bounds, Yance, Crowder & Brown, Mrs. Enfinger had gone to Greene for a routine examination during her 28th week of pregnancy. At that time, Mrs. Enfinger had elevated blood pressure and high levels of proteins in her blood. Both are symptoms of preeclampsia, a condition that can prevent the placenta from getting enough blood, thus inhibiting the transfer of air and nourishment to the child.
Worel and Yance said despite Mrs. Enfinger’s condition, Greene diagnosed her as having a urinary tract infection and sent her home. Four days later, she had developed a severe headache and was directed by the doctor to meet him at the hospital. Instead of waiting for Mrs. Enfinger to arrive, Greene went home for dinner, Worel and Yance said.
When Greene did arrive, the attorneys added, Mrs. Enfinger began having a seizure, which ruptured the placenta and caused Maria’s death. A Caesarean section was performed, but the child could not be revived.
Both attorneys said they understand this is the first $1 million medical malpractice verdict ever obtained against a physician in the history of Dale County.
Attempts by The Eagle to reach Greene or his attorney were unsuccessful.