$31.6 Million Recovered in Birth Injury Lawsuit
A Michigan family won $31.6 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed on behalf of their child who was delivered with brain damage. The plaintiffs were successfully able to argue that the outcome was avoidable had the hospital acted faster on signs that the fetus was in distress. Complicating the matter was a medication given to the mother that caused excessive uterine activity. The plaintiffs were successfully able to argue that the hospital failed to stop the delivery of that medication and perform an immediate C-section. As a result, the baby suffered severe brain damage and will need round-the-clock care.
Cases involving birth injury that does not result in the death of the baby, regularly settle for extremely high amounts. This is because the costs of care related to a lifetime of disability are also quite high.
What should have been done?
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the doctors and staff that oversaw the patient’s care are held to the same standard as all other medical facilities. In this case, a lack of attention and care, plus the failure to accurately diagnose fetal distress caused a baby to be born with severe enough brain damage to render them a quadriplegic.
The baby was born with a condition known as spastic quadriplegia which is the most severe form of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a known complication of difficult births. It is caused by a lack of oxygen flowing to the patient’s brain. In these cases, the lack of oxygen causes brain damage. This brain damage is irreversible. The patient will suffer the rest of their life with a condition that can prevent them from fully controlling their own body.
Defenses to medical malpractice
The best defense that the hospital could have offered in this case was that the baby would have been born with brain damage regardless of the quality of care rendered. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must establish that their injuries were directly or proximately caused by the negligent doctors and hospital. In this case, the plaintiff’s argument was convincing enough to garner a “nuclear” verdict against the hospital.
In a lawsuit such as this one, large money awards are likely. This has caused some states, including Florida, to create a birth injury system. In Florida, a program called NICA pays for care related to a newborn infant who is injured during delivery. NICA moves some claims out of the courts and into a no-fault system, but NICA is not without controversy as some families have struggled to receive the compensation they are entitled to. However, the NICA system is there to prevent many types of medical malpractice claims from moving forward in the courts, and to protect doctors and hospitals from nuclear verdicts.
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Palmer | Lopez represents the interests of Tampa residents who have been injured by negligent doctors and hospitals. Call today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin preparing your lawsuit immediately.