Supreme Court rules against B.C. doctor in botched birth case


OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has restored a finding against a British Columbia doctor after a botched delivery that left a newborn with permanent brain damage.

The justices ruled 7-0 against obstetrician William G. Johnston in an appeal on behalf of the child, Cassidy Ediger.

A trial judge awarded the Ediger family $3.2 million after determining the doctor failed to ensure that back-up surgical staff would be immediately available to deliver the baby by Caesarean section if a forceps procedure failed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal overturned the ruling in favour of the doctor, but the Supreme Court has now reversed that decision.

Cross-appeals about the amount of damages were referred back to the B.C. appeal court for consideration.

Cassidy, now 15, is fed through a tube and confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak, and has a life expectancy of just 38 years.


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