Conference Program
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Pre-Conference Workshop

Myths vs. Truths: Examining Placental Pathology Challenges in Pregnancy Outcomes and Birth Injury Litigation

Nov 17, 2021 10:00am – 1:30pm

Speakers

Paul A. Casi, II
Sole Owner/Shareholder
Paul A. Casi, II P.S.C. (Louisville, KY)

David B. Gazak, Ph.D., J.D.,
Managing Partner
Gazak Brown, P.S.C. (Louisville, KY)

LaMar F. Jost
Member
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell (Denver, CO)

Carolyn M. Salafia, M.D
Placental Pathologist
Placental Analytics, LLC

Day 1 - Thursday, November 18, 2021

8:45
Co-Chairs Opening Remarks
9:00
Obstetric Malpractice State of the Union 2021 and 20th Anniversary Conference Retrospect: A Conversation with Counsel, Doctors, and Insurers
10:00
Morning Break
10:15
Understanding How COVID-19 is Impacting Obstetric Malpractice Trials
11:15
Examining the Potential Liabilities Associated with the Expanding Role of L&D Nurses and Mid-Wives in Obstetrics
12:15
1:1 Networking
12:30
Lunch
1:15
Damages and Lifecare Planning Think Tank: Analyzing Claims and Legal Challenges Surrounding Optimal Management of High-Exposure Claims
2:15
Understanding the Controversy Around Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) and Cooling – Debating the Pros & Cons
3:30
Afternoon Break
3:45

Case Study

Breaking Down Genetics of Cerebral Palsy
4:15
Interpretation and Management of Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring Strips: Analyzing Recent Trends, AI Advancement, and Defining and Avoiding Liability
5:15
Exploring the Ethical Dilemmas in Obstetrical Malpractice
6:15
Co-Chair Closing Remarks; End of Conference

Day 1 - Thursday, November 18, 2021

8:45
Co-Chairs Opening Remarks

Jack Beam
Managing Partner
Beam Legal Team LLC (Chicago, IL)

Joseph S. Picchi
Shareholder
Galloway Lucchese Everson & Picchi (Pleasant Hill, CA)

9:00
Obstetric Malpractice State of the Union 2021 and 20th Anniversary Conference Retrospect: A Conversation with Counsel, Doctors, and Insurers

Richard T. Henderson
Senior Vice President
TransRe (New York, NY)

Carolyn M. Salafia, M.D
Placental Pathologist
Placental Analytics, LLC

William P. Greubel, III
Partner
Swanson Martin & Bell, LLP (Chicago, IL)

  • Analyzing medical trends and developments that have been game changers in the field of obstetrics
  • Breaking down top risk management factors and evaluating recent case patterns and settlements
  • Understanding COVID-19 and its impact on pregnancy
  • Identifying COVID-19 litigation concerns from health care providers relative to obstetrics
  • Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on a baby, before and after birth if a mother tests positive
  • Examining whether the COVID-19 vaccine has an impact on fertility

10:00
Morning Break
10:15
Understanding How COVID-19 is Impacting Obstetric Malpractice Trials

Bradley M. Cosgrove
Partner
Clifford Law Offices (Chicago, IL)

Amy Evans
Executive Vice President
Liability Claims Division InterCare Ins. (Bellevue, WA)

John E. Hall, Jr.
Partner
Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (Atlanta, GA)

  • Analyzing the present state of virtual trials, mediations, and depositions
  • Evaluating whether they will continue post-pandemic
  • Exploring new litigation techniques and evidentiary questions in light of rising verdicts
  • Understanding the fundamentals of the pre-trial presentation in an obstetrics case
  • Determining what drives a jury decision in these high damage cases
    • Examining how masks in the court room may impact juror perception
  • Analyzing the changes in jury selection and how to select the best jurors in a post COVID-19 world

11:15
Examining the Potential Liabilities Associated with the Expanding Role of L&D Nurses and Mid-Wives in Obstetrics

Michael G. Ross, MD MPH
Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health
UCLA School of Medicine (Los Angeles, CA)

Benjamin A. Post
Founding Partner
Post & Post, LLC (Berwyn, PA)

Gerald D. Jowers, Jr.
Partner
Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC (Baltimore, MD)

  • Understanding the role that midwives and L&D nurses play during the entire pregnancy, and the delivery process
    • Exploring why hospitals may or may not be opting for these licensed professions
  • Examining collaborative agreements midwives and L&D nurses have with hospitals
  • Evaluating insurance guidelines, supervision protocols, and identifying potential liability
  • Analyzing corporate negligence theories with respect to midwives, L&Ds, and hospitals
  • Determining the financial incentives plaintiffs’ attorneys have when a case is built against an L&D nurse
  • Exploring negligence theories used in cases involving mid-level practitioners related to dosages and timing of administering medications to accelerate labor and delivery
    • Assessing whether L&D nurses and midwives are equipped for early management and resuscitation of a newborn baby in a timely fashion
  • Analyzing outcomes: OB’s vs. L&D nurses and midwives

12:15
1:1 Networking
12:30
Lunch
1:15
Damages and Lifecare Planning Think Tank: Analyzing Claims and Legal Challenges Surrounding Optimal Management of High-Exposure Claims

Erick M. Elder
Professor of Economics
University of Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)

Thomas Geroulo
Partner
Bardsley, Benedict and Cholden, LLP (Scranton, PA)

Robert Shavelle, PhD, FAACPDM
Technical Director
Life Expectancy Project (San Francisco, CA)

Moderator:

John Moore
Assistant Vice President, Claims
The Doctors Company (Napa, CA)

  • Understanding how the complexion of damages for life care claims has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Forecasting economic damages from 2020 in light of the economic slowdown because of the pandemic
    • Analyzing novel theories in damages
  • Case studies on the future of the collateral source rule
  • Developing best practices for selecting an expert damages witness,
  • Examining new motions strategies and methods for presenting defense damages narrative to the jury
  • Analyzing the big-ticket damages items stated by a plaintiff, and defense strategies to counter this
  • Understanding the effects of COVID-19 on life expectancy

2:15
Understanding the Controversy Around Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) and Cooling – Debating the Pros & Cons

Jacob Diesselhorst, Esq.
Partner
Maples Nix & Diesselhorst, P.L.L.C. (Edmond, OK)

Daniel_Huff

Daniel J. Huff
Partner
Huff, Powell & Bailey, LLC (Atlanta, GA)

Max Wiznitzer, MD
Pediatric Neurology
UH Cleveland Medical Center (Cleveland, OH)

Moderator:

Jack Beam
Managing Partner
Beam Legal Team LLC (Chicago, IL)

  • Determining whether children with mild HIE should be cooled
  • Identifying what to do if a child who has received both HIE and cooling has had a normal MRI and later has developed differences
  • Interpreting recent data from studied on HIE
  • Developing best practices for determining when an injury occurred
  • Determining which type of experts, you need to make your case: placental pathologists, pediatric neuro-radiologist, pediatric neurologist, geneticist, etc.?
  • Addressing the challenge of proving that an injury occurred before labor
  • Evaluating whether a utero infection can be a potential cause of injury

3:30
Afternoon Break
3:45

Case Study

Breaking Down Genetics of Cerebral Palsy

Max Wiznitzer, MD
Pediatric Neurology
UH Cleveland Medical Center (Cleveland, OH)

Moderator:

Jim Puga
Partner
Leventhal Puga Braley P.C.(Denver, CO)

  • Understanding the fundamentals of genetics on cerebral palsy
  • Determining whether genetics can mimic or imitate other condition being litigated during a case
  • Understanding the overlap of genetics and HIE

4:15
Interpretation and Management of Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring Strips: Analyzing Recent Trends, AI Advancement, and Defining and Avoiding Liability

Jesse M. Reiter, J.D.
Owner and Managing Partner
Reiter & Walsh, P.C. (Bloomfield Hills, MI)

Michael G. Ross, MD MPH
Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health
UCLA School of Medicine (Los Angeles, CA)

Timothy H. Bendin
Partner
Bendin, Sumrall & Ladner, LLC (Atlanta, GA)

  • Analyzing recent guideline changes of fetal heart rate tracing
  • Understanding and managing the categories of fetal heart tracing
  • Examining techniques for how a doctor can determine when a fetal heart monitoring strip has deteriorated to such an extent that medical intervention is necessary
  • Determining the amount of time that an obstetrician should be monitoring the strip for a low risk versus a high-risk patient
  • Interpreting contraction patterns and their impact on fetal heart rate
  • Understanding advances in AI tech in reviewing fetal heart strips, and picking our deviations which may go beyond what the doctor immediately sees
    • How it can flag fetal distress
    • Should there be more AI in the labor and delivery process?

5:15
Exploring the Ethical Dilemmas in Obstetrical Malpractice

Eleni A. (“Eleana”) Drakatos, Esq.
Partner
Yacobozzi | Drakatos LLC (Columbus, OH)

Bobbie S. Sprader
Partner
Bricker & Eckler LLP (Columbus, OH)

In this closing session, our speakers will provide a 360 view of ethics and professional conduct considerations in obstetric malpractice claims.

6:15
Co-Chair Closing Remarks; End of Conference

Myths vs. Truths: Examining Placental Pathology Challenges in Pregnancy Outcomes and Birth Injury Litigation

Nov 17, 2021 10:00am – 1:30pm

Paul A. Casi, II
Sole Owner/Shareholder
Paul A. Casi, II P.S.C. (Louisville, KY)

David B. Gazak, Ph.D., J.D.,
Managing Partner
Gazak Brown, P.S.C. (Louisville, KY)

LaMar F. Jost
Member
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell (Denver, CO)

Carolyn M. Salafia, M.D
Placental Pathologist
Placental Analytics, LLC

What is it about?

Challenges involving placental pathology have become more prevalent in obstetrical malpractice birth injury cases. For that reason, a thorough understanding of the legal strategies and limitations of placental pathology is key.

  • Understanding the basics of placental pathology
  • Assessing mechanisms of intrauterine infection and its effect on the fetus/baby
  • Recognizing infection
    • Markers of intrauterine infection, stress, and inflammation
  • Clinical vs. histological chorioamnionitis
    • When can histological chorioamnionitis cause injury in premature and full-term babies?
    • Determining whether a jury accepts histological chorioamnionitis an alternative causation theory
  • Identifying and analyzing the different types of imaging and scans and what they mean
  • Determining if COVID-19 will cause damage to the placenta if a mother tests positive
  • Discussing state of the art of placental pathology cases
    • Devising strategies to overcome anticipated defenses
    • Analyzing key literature on chorioamnionitis and understanding how it affects the state of these defenses
    • Determining the impact of placental pathology on an obstetrical malpractice case