The Doctor’s Advocate | Fourth Quarter 2016
Case Studies

What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Nye’s Perspective

Each quarter, our Case Studies series highlights one member’s personal experience in facing a malpractice claim. Any physician who might become the target of litigation can benefit from hearing peers talk about the emotional impact of being sued and the support they received throughout the litigation process.

This quarter, we feature Elizabeth R. Nye, MD, FACOG, who faced a particularly challenging case. After following a patient through a healthy pregnancy, Dr. Nye induced labor at 39 weeks due to problems with fetal growth. The labor was lengthy, and Dr. Nye attempted to assist the delivery with a vacuum extractor, but it was not successful. Dr. Nye recommended an emergency cesarean section, but the patient refused—and later sued Dr. Nye for failure to timely deliver, leading to neonatal death.

Any case involving neonatal death is a difficult one, and Dr. Nye faced extreme emotional stress, asking herself, “What could I have done better? What could I have done differently?” But through the strong support of her lawyer and The Doctors Company—and testimony from expert witnesses—Dr. Nye successfully defended her care and was exonerated by the jury.

Watch this powerful video about Dr. Nye’s testimony on her own behalf and how the emotional lawsuit affected everyone involved.


The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.

The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.

The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider in light of all circumstances prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published quarterly by Corporate Communications, The Doctors Company. Letters and articles, to be edited and published at the editor’s discretion, are welcome. The views expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or official policy of The Doctors Company. Please sign your letters, and address them to the editor.

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