We have written about many cases of birth injuries on our New Mexico medical malpractice blog in the past. While many of these cases lead to settlements or verdicts for a family that is struggling to cope with a birth injury sustained during a difficult labor, it is rare that verdicts are as substantial as one that was handed down recently in Pennsylvania.
In that case, a baby being born was getting too little oxygen; representatives for his family said that a C-section should have been performed in order to get the baby the oxygen he needed. However, this wasn't done; instead, doctors went ahead with facilitating a vaginal delivery.
In the process of the delivery, the baby got stuck in the birth canal, while the mother began hemorrhaging. She had to undergo emergency surgery to correct the bleeding. The baby, deprived of the proper amount of oxygen, has suffered from multiple problems since his birth four years ago. He has cerebral palsy, and lags behind other children of the same age in his development.
The jury found that the hospital and the obstetrician were equally at fault, and awarded the family $55 million. The actual amount the family will receive is expected to be less than that due to a pre-verdict agreement among the parties. However, the ultimate award will still go a long way toward paying for the boy's past, present and future medical expenses.
While this case shows that cases involving birth injuries and medical malpractice can take a long time to resolve, it also shows that substantial compensation could be possible for people who have patience and an experienced attorney.
Source: The Express-Times, "Jury awards family $55 million for boy's injuries at birth at St. Luke's University Hospital," Precious Petty, Dec. 24, 2013