The negligence of a physician now practicing in New York was deemed responsible for a birth injury that left a Massachusetts girl unable to walk or talk, legally blind and dependent upon a tube for feeding. In announcing their verdict, the jury awarded nearly $29 million to the girl – now 11 – and her family.
The jury ruled that the physician failed to, among other things, perform an emergency cesarean section delivery that was needed when the expectant mother arrived at the hospital for delivery in Sept. 2004. She was in the 28th week of pregnancy and told doctors that she noticed a decrease in movement from the baby.
The mother was admitted to the hospital for further monitoring. Hours later, the baby’s heart rate dropped significantly. The physician was notified via phone but he decided not to travel to the hospital.
Later, the baby’s heart rate dropped even further, and she was eventually delivered via cesarean section barely alive. The lack of oxygen and blood flow led to her experiencing a severe brain injury.
How the Award Was Decided
A number of things must be taken into consideration when a jury decides upon the size of the judgement to award. In the case of this young girl, the jury separated the award into categories.
- $16.1 million for her continued care
- $11.5 million for physical and mental pain and suffering
- $1.25 million for her lost earning capacity
- $1.04 million for past medical bills
The Tragedy of Birth Injuries
The day a baby is born is one meant for celebration. Sadly, there is so much that can go wrong because the baby is perhaps at his/her most vulnerable point. While we’re definitely fans of physicians and other medical personnel in general, they must be held accountable when mistakes they make lead to a lifetime of consequences for the smallest of patients.
According to data, lack of oxygen (asphyxia) – like the baby in the above story suffered – is one of the primary causes of infant brain damage. About 10 out of every 1,000 newborns will experience asphyxia annually in the U.S.
The most common contributors to newborns experiencing asphyxia include:
- Problems in the birth canal that cause the infant to become stuck
- A twisted or knotted umbilical cord
- Blocked airways to and from the newborn’s lungs
The Fitzgerald Law Firm Can Help You
We’ve been successfully handling birth injury cases for well over 40 years. We’ve also helped children with cerebral palsy, autism, seizures and other birth injuries get the compensation they are entitled to. If you feel your child has suffered a birth injury, we want to talk with you. Contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.