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Matis Baum O’Connor Represents the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as Amicus Curiae Counsel in Birth Injury Case

15 November 2018

Pittsburgh, PA, United States —Matis Baum O’Connor attorney Michael K. Feeney, Esq., represented the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as Amicus Curiae counsel in a significant birth injury case in Allegheny County.

The case involves a birth injury that plaintiffs allege was caused by an unproven theory that paid expert witnesses have sometimes labeled “Cranial Compression Ischemic Encephalopathy” (CCIE).  The defendants in the case were granted a Frye hearing, which requires the plaintiffs to prove that “the methodology that underlies the evidence has general acceptance in the relevant scientific community.”

The medical community obviously has an interest in ensuring that courts rely on medically accurate and scientifically sound theories.  Here, not only is CCIE virtually non-existent in the medical literature, but it has been categorically refuted in the few instances where it has been examined.  If courts were to mistakenly recognize it as an accepted theory, it could result in an unwarranted, massive expansion of obstetrical malpractice liability.  To ensure these important considerations were brought to the attention of the Court, Attorney Feeney prepared an Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of ACOG that emphasized its importance not just in this case, but across the entire Commonwealth.  Attorney Feeney also participated in the Frye hearing on behalf of ACOG, explaining to the court the need for scientifically sound and medically accurate methodology.

With more than 58,000 members, ACOG is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women.  Attorney Feeney is an experienced Amicus practitioner, having represented various physician membership organizations at all levels of litigation, including before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.