Last week, I summarized a recent bench trial in a birth injury case. I find these bench trial decisions to be extremely useful and informative. They provide a unique perspective on what facts and testimony really matter in a birth injury case. In a jury trial, you just get a verdict. You do not get any meaningful explanation as to what mattered and why. Appellate opinions focus on the law and not so much on the resolution of factual issues. These bench trial decisions are like detailed case studies that allow us to see how the facts were presented by each side, how the expert testimony was weighed, and exactly how the fact-finder reached their decision.
So I looked for another birth injury case with the judge as the decider of fact. I found Coleman v. United States, 200 F. Supp. 3d 1350 (M.D. Ga. 2016), another Memorandum Decision from a birth injury bench trial in federal court.
The plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of themselves and their injured child, J.D. The healthcare providers involved in this birth injury case were employees of a federally funded health clinic in Albany Georgia. The federal government assumes liability for malpractice claims against federally funded clinics, so the United States was the named defendant.