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Family seeking to take malpractice claim to the Supreme Court

New Mexico military families may be interested to learn that a family has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a medical malpractice lawsuit that involved a botched birth. The case had been dismissed by a lower court due to the fact that the mother was on active duty at the time the incident occurred.

The child was born at Evans Army Community Hospital in Colorado in 2009. The mother, who was serving in the U.S. Air Force at the time, was preparing for a cesarean section delivery when hospital staff gave her a medication that she was allergic to and that was listed in her medical records. When she was given an antihistamine, the reaction caused her blood pressure to drop. The child suffered brain and nerve damage as a result of oxygen deprivation.

The family ultimately filed the lawsuit against the hospital in order to support the child's future medical needs. However, the court cited the Feres doctrine, which prevents members of the military and their families from filing claims for injuries caused from military service activities. The father stated that it was hoped that the Supreme Court would clarify the doctrine. He argued that it was unfair to the child who had never worn a uniform.

A child who suffers a birth injury due to medical negligence could potentially be left with life-threatening or permanent complications. An attorney may provide assistance to the child's family in filing a lawsuit against the health care practitioners and the facility by gathering the evidence and documents that demonstrate that a mistake was made or that staff members were indeed negligent. In some cases, the family may seek compensation to assist with future medical costs that may result from the damage that was done.

Source: Military Times, "Military family pushes Supreme Court to consider malpractice claim", Patricia Kime, 12/21/2015

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