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.