2007 Malpractice Case Verdict Upheld by District Court ({{commentsTotal}})


Tallinn District Court upheld a guilty verdict against Carmen Heinväli, an MD accused of criminal negligence in 2007 after a baby was born with a permanent disability.

Heinväli, who was the on-duty physician in Pärnu Hospital in the case in question, was handed a one-year suspended sentence at the beginning of February by Pärnu County Court.

She was found guilty of failing to correctly evaluate the course of a patient's labor, as a result of which the health of both the mother and the newborn was severely harmed.

The court also awarded the victim civil damages totaling 23,330 euros in February, which Pärnu Hospital must pay.

Heinväli was originally convicted in 2010, given an eight-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay around 1,500 euros in fines. But she was not stripped of her license to practice medicine and civil damages were also dismissed.

That verdict was upheld by the district court in June, but the Supreme Court ordered a retrial in November 2010, saying that the Pärnu County Court and a district court had used the findings of a forensic medicine report that lacked certain criteria required by law, such as an evaluation of the examination results and a statement of grounds for the experts' opinion.

Heinväli maintains her innocence.

It is yet unclear if she will appeal to the next level, moving the case once again to the Supreme Court.

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