Epidural Lawsuit

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

Key Takeaways

  • Epidural anesthesia, while commonly used for pain relief during childbirth, can lead to severe complications if improperly administered or monitored.
  • Because medical malpractice is a particularly complex area of law, securing prompt legal representation is crucial for those thinking of filing an epidural lawsuit.
  • Successful medical malpractice claims in Missouri require proving a deviation from the standard of care in the defendant’s profession and area of specialization.
  • Possible epidural errors are diverse, ranging from incorrect needle placement to improper dosing, and can cause serious complications for both mothers and newborns that may warrant legal compensation.
  • Understanding the statute of limitations, gathering strong evidence, and consulting with medical experts are essential steps for pursuing justice and securing compensation in epidural lawsuits.

Epidural anesthesia is a commonly used method for pain relief during childbirth. While it can provide significant relief, improper administration or monitoring can lead to serious complications, including nerve damage, paralysis, or other neurological issues in the mother, as well as potential harm to the baby.

Families facing the aftermath of an epidural birth injury often find themselves grappling with emotional, physical, and financial burdens. Pursuing an epidural lawsuit may be necessary to obtain full and fair compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care, pain, suffering, and more. 

If you suffered an epidural birth injury due to medical malpractice, do not wait to seek legal representation. We are a full-service personal injury law firm with the skills, experiences, and resources needed to handle even the most complex medical malpractice lawsuits. Call (800) 536-4357 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation today. We are here to help.

Can I Sue for an Epidural Injury?

Whether or not you can sue for an epidural injury depends on various factors, including the circumstances surrounding your injury, the extent of the harm caused, available evidence, and the governing law. Epidural injections are commonly used for pain management during childbirth or to alleviate back pain. While they are generally considered safe, complications can arise and sometimes lead to life-altering injuries.

If you believe you’ve experienced an injury due to an epidural injection, you should consult with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Look no further. The legal team at Brown & Crouppen can evaluate your situation, advise you on the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process. We are ready to serve you from our offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, and throughout Missouri.

The Standard of Care in Missouri Medical Malpractice Claims

To have a successful medical malpractice claim for an epidural injury, you typically need to demonstrate that your doctor or other healthcare provider did not adhere to the normal standard of care in their profession and specialization. More specifically, the governing statute in Missouri requires medical malpractice plaintiffs to show that:

“[The] healthcare provider failed to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful healthcare provider would have under similar circumstances and . . . failure to use such reasonable care directly caused or directly contributed to cause the damages claimed in the petition.”

Medical malpractice cases can be complex and challenging to prove, so it’s essential to have strong evidence and legal representation. Our attorneys will gather medical records, consult with medical experts, and build a strong case to prove the defendant healthcare provider’s medical negligence and your resulting damages.

Types of Epidural Errors

Epidural errors can occur during the administration of an epidural injection in the spine, leading to consequences ranging from mild to catastrophic. Common types of epidural errors include:

  • Incorrect Placement – One of the most significant errors is the incorrect placement of the epidural needle or catheter. If the needle or catheter is not inserted into the epidural space correctly, the medication may not reach its intended target, leading to inadequate pain relief or unintended side effects. 
  • Nerve Damage – Accidental puncture or damage to nerves within the spinal canal can occur during the insertion of the epidural needle or catheter. This can lead to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the affected area. Severe nerve damage can result in long-term or permanent disability.
  • Dural Puncture – Accidental puncture of the dura mater, the outermost membrane surrounding the spinal cord, can occur during epidural procedures. This can lead to leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), resulting in headaches, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms of low CSF pressure. Dural punctures are a well-known risk of epidural procedures and should be promptly recognized and managed to prevent complications.
  • Infection – Improper sterilization or poor aseptic techniques during the administration of epidural injections can increase the risk of infection. If bacteria enter the body during the procedure, it can lead to infections such as meningitis or an epidural abscess.
  • Medication Errors – Errors in medication dosage, concentration, or administration can occur during epidural procedures. Administering the wrong medication or an incorrect dose can lead to ineffective pain relief or adverse reactions such as allergic reactions, respiratory depression, or hypotension.
  • Failure to Monitor – Proper monitoring of the patient during and after epidural procedures is essential to detect and manage complications promptly. Failure to monitor vital signs, neurological status, or signs of complications can lead to delays in treatment and worsen patient outcomes.
  • Delayed or Inadequate Pain Relief – In some cases, epidural procedures may fail to provide adequate pain relief or may take longer to take effect than expected. This can be due to things like incorrect placement of the needle or catheter, inadequate dosage or concentration of medication, or unique differences among patients.

These are just a few examples of common epidural errors, and there may be other factors or complications specific to each case. If you were injured due to an epidural error, it’s essential to seek qualified medical attention and consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your situation and determine the appropriate course of action.

Complications Due to Epidural Errors

Both mothers and newborns can experience complications due to epidural errors. Some may result in mild short-term discomfort, while others can lead to serious long-term health issues.

Maternal Complications

Fetal Complications

  • Nerve damage resulting in chronic numbness or weakness in the legs and feet.
  • Epidural abscess, a type of infection that can lead to neurological damage if not promptly treated.
  • Post-dural puncture headaches caused by leakage of spinal fluid during epidural placement.
  • Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension.
  • Respiratory depression or difficulty breathing.
  • Allergic reactions to the medication used in the epidural.
  • Fever during labor.
  • Prolonged labor requiring a C-section delivery.
  • Urine retention, leading to bladder infections or damage.
  • Falls due to decreased motor control.
  • Heart rate abnormalities, such as tachycardia (rapid heart rate) or bradycardia (slow heart rate).
  • Respiratory depression or difficulty breathing.
  • Oxygen deprivation, causing brain damage and related conditions, such as cerebral palsy.
  • Poor muscle tone and coordination at birth.
  • Delayed onset of breastfeeding.
  • Injuries from vacuum-assisted or forceps-assisted delivery, such as bruising or swelling on the scalp, facial nerve paralysis, or bleeding around the brain.


Types of Compensation Available in a Missouri Epidural Injury Lawsuit

If you were injured due to medical malpractice during your epidural, you may receive compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate for the aspects of your injuries and losses that easily reduce to a monetary value. Non-economic damages cover their intangible, subjective aspects. Together, these “compensatory damages” cover things like:   

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical care expenses
  • Cost of medication
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Importantly, Missouri limits the non-economic damages you may receive in medical malpractice lawsuits. Non-economic compensation was originally capped at $400,000 for “non-catastrophic” injuries and at $700,000 for “catastrophic” injuries. These values are adjusted upward every year.

Over the years, our attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts on behalf of injury victims just like you. You can count on our birth injury lawyers to thoroughly investigate your case, calculate the full and fair compensation you are owed, and build the strongest claim possible on your behalf.  

What Evidence Is Needed to Build a Strong Epidural Lawsuit?

In an epidural lawsuit, gathering strong evidence is crucial to establishing liability and demonstrating the extent of your injuries and losses. Important evidence in your epidural injury lawsuit may include things like:

  • Medical Records – Comprehensive medical records are essential evidence in any medical malpractice case. This includes records related to the epidural procedure itself, pre-procedure evaluations, procedure notes, post-procedure reports, nursing notes, anesthesia records, and any other relevant documentation.
  • Expert Opinions – Testimony from qualified medical experts can help establish the standard of care that should have been provided and whether the healthcare provider involved deviated from that standard. Expert witnesses may include anesthesiologists, pain management specialists, neurologists, and other medical professionals with expertise in epidural procedures and related injuries. 
  • Witness Statements – Statements from witnesses who were present during the epidural procedure or who observed your symptoms and injuries afterward can provide valuable corroborating evidence.
  • Photographs and Imaging Studies – Visual evidence such as photographs, X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans can help document physical injuries, nerve damage, spinal cord abnormalities, or other objective evidence of harm.
  • Lost Wages and Economic Losses – Records of lost income, missed workdays, or diminished earning capacity resulting from the epidural injury. This may include pay stubs, tax returns, employment records, or testimony from your employer.
  • Pain Journals and Diaries – Keeping a detailed record of your symptoms, pain levels, limitations, and the impact of the injury on your daily life can help demonstrate the severity and duration of your suffering.
  • Informed Consent Documentation – If there are questions about whether you were adequately informed of the risks and benefits of the epidural procedure before consenting, documentation of the informed consent process may be relevant to your case.

Statute of Limitations for Epidural Lawsuits in Missouri

The medical malpractice statute of limitations in Missouri gives you two years from the date the malpractice occurred or could have reasonably been discovered to file your claim. Further, the statute of repose sets a once-and-for-all deadline of 10 years for filing medical malpractice lawsuits.

There are, however, important exceptions that may extend the deadline. For example, in cases involving plaintiffs who are minors, the countdown does not start until they turn 18, effectively extending the deadline until their twentieth birthday.

No matter which deadline governs your case, it will be strictly enforced. Therefore, before relying on potential exceptions, it is wise to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. If you miss the correct deadline, the presiding court will be forced to dismiss your case.

Contact Brown & Crouppen for a Free Consultation

If a medical provider’s negligence caused your epidural-related birth injury, Brown & Crouppen can help you seek the compensation you and your family need to move forward. Our award-winning legal team has been widely recognized for the high quality of our services. We have even been named the Best Law Firm in St. Louis by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Our attorneys provide top-tier legal representation to injury victims in St. Louis, Kansas City, and throughout Missouri. We also offer no-obligation case reviews, and you pay nothing unless we secure compensation on your behalf. Call 800-536-4357 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation with an experienced epidural injury attorney today.


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