Articles Posted in Birth Trauma Malpractice / Cerebral Palsy Malpractice

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A New York jury has awarded a family $43 million in a medical malpractice case. The jury found that a hospital failed to properly resuscitate a child at birth, causing cerebral palsy. The family had previously settled out of court with the doctor involved in the delivery. A story on the case can be found here.

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. These cases are extremely complex, requiring multiple expert witnesses such as an obstetrician, neonatologist, pediatric neurologist placental pathologist, life care planner, economist, etc. They are very challenging cases to win, but important nevertheless as they can help a family take care of a brain damaged individual for life. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.

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Recently, a South Carolina jury awarded the family of a newborn $4.4 million dollars for medical malpractice/negligence stemming from the delivery of the child. In their complaint, the family alleged that a nurse failed to properly monitor the baby’s fetal heart monitoring strips — strips that show the heartbeat rate of the baby — and, as a result, did not realize that the baby was in fetal distress and required emergent medical attention and/or delivery. As a result of this negligence, the family alleged that the baby experienced prolonged periods without oxygen while in utero and during the delivery. The baby was delivered alive, but later diagnosed with cerebral-palsy like complications. At the age of 5, the baby died from these complications.

As experienced medical negligence/malpractice attorneys in the Baltimore, Maryland and Washington D.C. area, we have handled numerous cases involving the negligence of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers involved with the delivery of a baby. These health care providers are charged with providing a certain level of care to both the mother and the baby to ensure that both navigate the labor and delivery process safely. In fact, there are many standards and/or regulations published by reputable medical professional societies, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), that govern the care that should be provided to a mother and baby during the pre-natal, labor and delivery phases. The following are examples of medical mistakes and/or errors that have, in the past, led to our office filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in this context:

(1) failure to monitor a fetal heart monitoring strip

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A jury has issued a $31 million verdict against an Ohio hospital in a birth injury case, which could be the largest jury award for a medical malpractice case in that state’s history. The verdict included nearly $26 million for future medical care for the boy, who is now 8.

The boy has severe cerebral palsy. He cannot speak, uses a feeding tube, can’t walk and has difficulty holding anything in his hands. He will never be able to work, and his parents are now his health care givers 24 hours a day. As usual, this has caused the family to reduce their income to take care of the child.

The Plaintiffs alleged that the boy suffered permanent, irreversible brain damage during his birth. The boy’s mother was a VBAC patient, meaning she would deliver the boy vaginally, though she had previously had a Caesarian section. That meant she was at a higher risk for a ruptured uterus during labor, which occurred. At that point, the mother’s body stopped providing necessary oxygen through the placenta, though the boy had yet to be born. The family estimated that he went 18 to 20 minutes without oxygen.

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A South Carolina jury has awarded $4.4 million to the parents of a 4-year-old girl who died after suffering brain injury at birth at a hospital there. The jury found that the hospital was at fault in 2003 when it assigned a nurse trainee to monitor the mother, who had come to the hospital three days before her scheduled induction, complaining of nausea and vomiting. Lawyers for the family argued the nurse trainee misread fetal heart monitoring information showing the baby was in severe distress and needed emergency intervention. The infant subsequently was born with a severe brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation, and died of complications from cerebral palsy more than four years later. While the child was alive, the family endured constant challenges, including giving medication to battle seizures, taking her to therapy several times a week and relying on a feeding tube to keep her nourished.

I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice / medical negligence / medical error cases in Maryland involving birth injuries. These cases are always tragic.

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A Wisconsin court has approved an $18.2 million medical malpractice settlement from the government for a Milwaukee family whose daughter suffered severe brain damage during birth at a clinic. When the mother gave birth, her daughter was stuck in the birth canal for more than 20 minutes, and the girl suffered a major brain injury due to lack of oxygen. As a result of her birth injury, the girl will need assistance for the rest of her life, due to seizures, developmental delays and severe cerebral palsy. A copy of an article regarding the case can be found here.

Cases involving permanent injuries to kids are some of the most difficult cases that Maryland and District of Columbia medical malpractice lawyers pursue because they usually involve multiple expert witnesses, such as obstetricians, pediatric neurologists, neonatologists, placental pathologists, life care planners and economists. This makes them extremely expensive and time-consuming to pursue. Nevertheless, these cases are extremely important to file and pursue, so that compensation can be obtained for the child and the parents, in order to give the child with best medical and other care that the child can have, so as to maximize the child’s comfort and abilities. Nothing could be more important.

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A Fort Lauderdale, Florida jury Friday awarded a family $35 million in a medical malpractice case alleging that Broward General Medical Center caused permanent brain damage to their child during his delivery. As a result of the malpractice, the child is profoundly mentally disabled, can’t walk, can’t engage in routine activities of daily living and requires a lifetime of care. A copy of the article regarding the case can be found here.

As I have repeatedly said before, birth trauma cases like this are some of the most difficult cases that Maryland medical malpractice attorneys pursue because they usually involve multiple expert witnesses, such as obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, placental pathologists, life care planners and economists. This makes them extremely time-consuming and expensive to pursue. Nevertheless, these cases are extremely important to pursue, so that compensation can be obtained for the parents and child, in order to provide the child with best medical and other care that the child can have, so as to maximize the child’s abilities and comfort. Nothing is more important.

While practicing the filed of medical malpractice in Baltimore, I have handled a number of these type of cases, and they almost always involve severe and permanent injuries. The parents usually don’t have enough money to provide the child with the medical and other care that the child needs, health insurance doesn’t give the child what it needed and government benefits are minimal to non-existent. When these cases are successful, they usually allow the family to give the child the medical and other care (like home care) that is needed.

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Documents filed this week in an Ohio court revealed that lawyers for the Cleveland Clinic and the mother of a brain-damaged child settled a medical malpractice lawsuit on May 1 for $10 million. Apparently, a jury heard the two-week trial and reached a $15.9 million verdict, but the lawyers settled the case before the verdict form was signed. Part of the settlement called for the verdict forms to remain sealed, but the verdict papers were placed into the public case file by accident, revealing the jury’s award, which would have been one of the largest verdicts ever in Ohio. A copy of the article regarding the settlement can be found here.

What is interesting here is that the defense apparently tried to keep the verdict secret but failed. Typically, health care defendants and health care insurers like to keep such verdicts quiet so as not to encourage other cases.

As I have said before, cases involving permanent injuries to children are some of the most difficult cases that Maryland and District of Columbia medical malpractice attorneys pursue because they usually involve multiple expert witnesses, such as obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, placental pathologists, life care planners and economists. This makes them extremely time-consuming and expensive to pursue. Nevertheless, these cases are extremely important to pursue, so that compensation can be obtained for the parents and child, in order to provide the child with best medical and other care that the child can have, so as to maximize the child’s abilities and comfort. Nothing is more important.

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An Illinois hospital and doctor have agreed to pay $15.35 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman whose son suffered brain damages during the delivery in 2001. The child, Cody Smithey, now suffers from cerebral palsy and mental retardation arising from the unsuccessful use of a vacuum extractor, which was used to assist in delivery of the child. A copy of an article regarding the case can be found here.

Interestingly, I successfully handled a similar medical malpractice case in Maryland approximately 15 years ago in which an obstetrician used a vacuum extractor to assist in the delivery of a premature infant. Such use was contraindicated by the manufacturer. Because the obstetrician used the device, the child developed a severe (grade 4) intraventricular brain bleed, which left the child severely and profoundly disabled. The success of the case allowed the family to better care for the child.

As I have said before, cerebral palsy and birth trauma cases like this are some of the most difficult cases that Maryland medical malpractice attorneys pursue because they usually involving multiple expert witnesses, such as obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, placental pathologists, life care planners and economists. This makes them extremely time-consuming and expensive to pursue. Nevertheless, these cases are extremely important to pursue, so that compensation can be obtained for the parents and child, in order to provide the child with best medical and other care that the child can have, so as to maximize the child’s abilities and comfort. Nothing is more important.

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An Ohio jury has awarded $22.6 million in damages to a woman whose baby suffered permanent brain injuries after it became stuck in her birth canal for over 13 hours. Jurors found that a doctor and practice group were negligent in the medical care that led to the baby’s injuries. Approximately $16 million of the award has been allocated to future medical bills and future loss of ability to perform the usual functions.

Birth trauma cases like this are some of the most difficult cases that Maryland medical malpractice attorneys pursue. They are extremely complicated cases, usually involving multiple expert witnesses, such as obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatric neurologists, placental pathologists, life care planners and economists. This means that they are extremely time-consuming and expensive to pursue. Nevertheless, these cases are extremely important to pursue, so that compensation can be obtained for the parents and child, in order to provide the child with best medical and other care that the child can have, so as to maximize the child’s abilities and comfort. Nothing is more important.