Articles Posted in Birth Trauma Malpractice / Cerebral Palsy Malpractice

A jury in a medical malpractice case tried in federal court has awarded $14.5 million to a young boy who suffered catastrophic injuries, including cerebral palsy, during birth.  The lawsuit alleged that the healthcare providers involved negligently guided the mother through labor, prescribing a drug – Pitocin – that sped up the delivery process to a rate at which the child did not have sufficient time to recover and oxygenate between contractions.  The Plaintiffs’ position was that when the fetal heart monitor began to demonstrate that the child was being deprived of oxygen the administration of Pitocin should have been terminated.  The evidence also demonstrated that the hospital’s written rules prohibited use of Pitocin in cases where the mother is dilating, making progress in the labor process and experiencing strong contractions.

As a result of his injuries, the child is unable to walk or talk and cannot sit up without assistance.  He likely will require significant, round-the-clock care for the remainder of his life.  The award – issued after two weeks of trial and four hours of deliberation – included $3 million for past a future pain, suffering and future lost wages.  The remainder of the award was to cover future medical expenses for his lifetime of needed care.

If you or a loved one may have been the victim of a medical mistake, call our experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at 410-385-2225.

Late last month, a Georgia jury awarded $30.5 million to the family of a child who suffered a catastrophic brain injury while being delivered.  The child’s mother presented to her OB-GYN for a regularly-scheduled visit at 35 weeks, where a non-stress test was performed and found to be non-reactive.  A few days after that scheduled visit, the mother returned for an unscheduled visit with a chief complaint of reduced or absent fetal movement.  A second non-stress test was again non-reactive and an ultrasound demonstrated possibility of reversal end diastolic blood flow, a severe condition that results from an increase in resistance to blood flow within the placenta.

The family’s attorneys contended that under the standard of acceptable medical care, this finding required an immediate delivery of the baby.  Instead, the physician who was treating the mother sent her to the hospital for continued monitoring and for a consultation with a maternal fetal medicine doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.  Due to a miscommunication, however, the consult with the specialist did not occur for an additional three hours.  The baby was ultimately delivered by emergency cesarean section due to terminal bradycardia (significantly decreased heart rate).  She suffered a severe hypoxic ischemic brain jury which resulted in development of spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, developmental delays and a seizure disorder.  The attorneys for the family contended that there were several opportunities to deliver the distressed baby but those opportunities were missed by the treating physicians.

At Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White, our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience successfully litigating birth injury cases.  If you or a loved one suffered this, or any other type of medical mistake, call us today for a free consultation at 410-385-2225.

Last year, a judge in an Ohio medical malpractice case awarded $24.9 million to a child born with cerebral palsy and to his parents.  According to the lawsuit, the boy, born in 2010, suffered a deprivation of oxygen during his birth.  The family alleged that the signs and symptoms of fetal distress were not recognized or acted upon in a timely fashion, despite the use of a fetal heart monitor.  The lack of oxygen resulted in a severe and irreversible brain injury that caused developmental delays and inability to function as a normal child.

The evidence demonstrated that the boy will require assistance with personal care for bathing, dressing, positioning, hair and mouth care throughout his life and that it is likely that he will require round-the-clock care due to his communication and functional mobility impairments.  The award – made by a judge because it was a bench trial – included $24.9 million for future care, $2.9 million for lost earning capacity, and $500,000 to each of the boy’s parents for their emotional pain and suffering.

The Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White have decades of successful experience litigating birth injury cases.  If you or a loved one have suffered this, or any other type of injury that may have been caused by a medical mistake, calls us today for a free consultation at 410-385-2225.

A Texas jury has awarded $10 million to the surviving family members of an infant who suffered catastrophic injury during birth ultimately bringing her short life to an end.  During the two week trial, evidence was presented that during the delivery, the Defendant-Obstetrician repeatedly applied forceps which are instruments shaped like a pair of salad spoons to the baby’s head to try help guide the baby out of the birth canal.  It was only after a fourth attempt with forceps failed to free the infant that the obstetrician decided to convert to a cesarean delivery.

Unfortunately, it was too late.  After the infant was born, it was determined that she had suffered intracranial ischemic injuries meaning that there were period of time when the blood flow to the brain leading to poor oxygen supply.  Subsequent radiology studies also revealed a skull fracture.  Less than a week after she was born, the infant was taken off life support and passed away shortly thereafter.  The jury’s award subsequently was reduced to $750,000 pursuant to the cap on non-economic damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress.

Our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience litigating birth injury malpractice cases.  If you or a loved one were the victim of a similar, or any other medical mistake, call to speak with one of our attorneys today at 410-385-2225.

A Chicago jury has awarded a Cook County record $53 million to a now-12-year-old who suffered a devastating brain injury at birth. The boy’s mother arrived to the hospital approximately 40 weeks in to her pregnancy complaining of decreased fetal movement. The lawsuit alleged that at that time, the hospital failed to, among other things, carefully monitor the mother and unborn child, perform a timely cesarean section, follow a chain of command, obtain accurate cord blood gases and recognize abnormal fetal heart rate patters that should have signaled to the doctors that the baby was in distress and suffering from hypoxia.

The hospital’s position at trial was that the mother’s treatment for an infection prior to the birth caused the child’s cerebral palsy and that the child had been born with normal oxygen levels. The child’s disability is so severe that he cannot bathe or eliminate on his own, cannot feed himself and cannot get up the stairs of their home. The tremendous verdict included $28.8 million for future caretaking expenses and $7.2 million for future medical expenses.

Our experienced Maryland medical malpractice lawyers here at STSW have decades of experience pursuing birth trauma and other types of cases. If you or a loved one were the victim of a suspected medical mistake, call us today for a free consultation at 410-385-2225.

The parents of a child born with severe brain damage at a military hospital in Fort Hood, Texas recently settled their medical malpractice lawsuit against the United States government for $6.5 million. The medical malpractice lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin, alleged physicians ignored evidence that the mother’s contractions were over-stimulated by the excessive use of oxytocin, which caused severe distress in the baby and forced the mother to deliver by emergency Cesarean-section.

According to allegations made in the medical malpractice suit, the mother’s pregnancy had been normal until near the end of her term. At about 37 weeks, the baby’s growth slowed down, and the obstetricians opted to induce labor on September 11. While in labor, hospital staff frequently turned off the oxytocin after fetal monitoring showed decelerations in the baby’s heart rate. However, hospital doctors continued to resume the oxytocin doses, even after monitoring showed the baby was in distress. After being forced through a long labor, the baby suffered hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation to the brain, during the delivery process. As a result, the newborn suffered severe brain damage, which caused cerebral palsy and other lasting physical injuries.

The baby, now five years old, cannot walk or talk and requires extensive care to survive, including being fed through a feeding tube. According to the medical malpractice attorneys handling the case, when fetal monitoring shows signs of distress in the baby, medical standards of care dictate halting oxytocin and delivering the baby by C-section. In this heartbreaking case, however, the mother argued that the hospital staff negligently ignored these warnings signs and their lack of intervention directly contributed to the newborn’s birth injury. The large settlement will assist with the baby’s care, but it certainly will not give him the healthy life he and his parents deserve.

For a parent, one of the greatest fears is that something bad will happen to their child. Mothers take special care when pregnant to ensure that their child is born healthy and will develop correctly. However, one thing that mothers cannot avoid is the risk of complications during the birthing process.

Last month, a Pennsylvania jury awarded $4 million when it found an obstetrician’s medical negligence caused permanent injuries to a child. The child, now four years old, suffers cerebral palsy and neurological injuries as a result of the obstetrician’s negligent failure to perform a cesarean section after the mother’s labor stalled for nearly eight hours. An expert witness testified that the doctor should have recognized that when the child’s labor stopped progressing, a cesarean delivery was safer. Instead, the doctor proceeded with a vaginal delivery and used forceps to assist in the delivery. During the delivery, the baby’s shoulder became stuck in her mother’s pelvis, causing a crucial three-and-a-half minute delay when the baby was deprived of oxygen. As a result, the baby had to be resuscitated by the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital and later underwent a procedure to cool her brain to minimize damage from the lack of oxygen. The verdict came after a four-day trial and is among the largest medical malpractice awards in the county’s history.

Maryland obstetricians are required to use reasonable care during the delivery of a child and when they fail to do so are responsible for the injuries their medical malpractice causes. Any parent whose child has suffered from birth injuries may be able to take legal action such as this woman did in the hopes of being compensated for the lifetime of medical bills that their child will incur.

Maryland Appellate Courts Weighs In On Medical Malpractice Suit Against University of Maryland Medical System Corporation (UMMS)

The Court of Special Appeals recently published an opinion concerning a medical malpractice complaint brought against University of Maryland Medical System Corporation. A copy of the Court of Special Appeals opinion can be found here.

The medical malpractice suit was brought by a minor, through his mother, and alleged that the care the child received following his premature birth was negligent. On the morning of the child’s birth, tests revealed that there was significant potential for a dangerous condition called “cord prolapse,” a condition in where the umbilical cord is squeezed by contractions thereby cutting off blood flow to the fetus. The child was delivered by emergency Cesarean section shortly after these tests and remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for two months after his birth as a result of numerous medical complications.

A multi-million dollar cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuit recently settled out of court. Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii ultimately paid a family $11 million dollars in the settlement following a series of serious medical errors resulting in severe brain damage to their child. The child, who was born in 2005, was deprived of oxygen at birth and now suffers from cerebral palsy. A breakdown in communication amongst doctors triggered an hour-long delivery in which the child was born with her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck. Round-the-clock care will likely be required for the rest of her life. This medical negligence case was not the result of misdiagnosis, but rather stemmed from a failure by doctors to take essential steps quickly enough to help the child while she was in distress during birth. The series of medical errors continued when doctors tried to resuscitate the child after delivery but mistakenly pumped air into her stomach, instead of lungs, when the respiratory tube was placed in her esophagus by an inexperienced intern.

This is another suit following at least four other child-related medical negligence cases over the last decade in which Tripler has paid out claims of up to $16.5 million. Two of these medical malpractice cases were for children who suffered massive brain damage while being treated. A copy of the article regarding the case can be found here.

Almost all of the hospitals in the Baltimore area have faced allegations involving negligent delivery, including The Johns Hopkins Hospital and University of Maryland Medical Center. As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled a number of medical malpractice cases involving birth injuries, which almost always involve permanent and severe disabilities. For families experiencing the devastation associated with a birth injury, it is important to bring suit because of the expense associated with long-term care of the child. These cases are extremely complicated and require expertise that most general personal injury attorneys do not have. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.

A California judge has approved a $5.75 million settlement in favor of a 4-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia. The child got $1.75 million up front and another $4 million in future payments to help pay for his medical and assistive care as well as future lost earnings over the rest of his life. The boys’ parents also have been awarded $250,000 to waive any future wrongful death claims in the event their son’s death is caused by his condition.

The family alleged that the child suffered severe and permanent brain injury as a result of a lack of oxygen to his brain during his birth. Specifically, the family alleged that the boy’s fetal monitor strip showed severe distress during labor but that the doctors ignored or didn’t recognize or realize it.

My name is Andrew Slutkin. As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice cases involving birth injuries causing cerebral palsy. These cases are always tragedies as they involve a lifetime of challenges because of a medical mistake. Traditional medical insurance typically does not pay for the care these individuals need, so these cases help provide the necessary therapy and care. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.

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