On May 15, 2019, a Massachusetts medical malpractice childbirth injury jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $30.55 million for the catastrophic brain damage suffered by their baby during childbirth in January 2013.
The Massachusetts birth injury jury deliberated over the course of two days before finding that an agency nurse at the large Massachusetts hospital was negligent in her failure to properly respond during labor when the baby was showing signs of distress because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.
The Massachusetts birth injury lawsuit alleged that the nurse’s breach of the standard of care caused the baby to be deprived of oxygen that led to the baby suffering a severe anoxic brain injury. As a result of the catastrophic and permanent brain damage suffered during labor, the now six-year-old child cannot walk, speak, or eat. The child requires around-the-clock care for his needs and activities of daily living.
The child’s parents were completely unaware at the time they were in the hospital for delivery of their child that the nurse responsible for ensuring the safety of their baby in utero by monitoring his heart rate and advising the attending medical staff regarding any worrisome signs of fetal distress was not employed by the hospital but rather was an agency nurse who was supplied to the hospital by a nationwide nurse staffing agency, which was named as the defendant in the Massachusetts birth injury medical malpractice case.
The parents’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the agency nurse was using a hand-held device to measure the baby’s heart rate in utero instead of using a more precise measuring device. Instead of reading the baby’s heart rate, the hand-held device was reading the mother’s heart rate.
The defendant nurse staffing agency reportedly settled the case on the same day as the verdict, before the jury awarded the plaintiffs $30.55 million. The defendant nurse staffing agency reportedly will pay out-of-pocket about one million dollars as a result of the settlement, with its insurers liable for the balance of the confidential settlement.
The defendant nurse staffing agency issued the following statement after the verdict: “The nurse, with more than 30 years of labor and delivery experience, was one member of a care team supporting the midwife and attending obstetrician at one of the nation’s preeminent hospitals. Nevertheless, a rare and unfortunate outcome resulted. The company’s heartfelt prayers go out to the affected family.”
If you or your baby suffered a birth injury (or worse) during labor and/or delivery in Massachusetts or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a birth injury lawyer in Massachusetts or in your state who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you and your child in a birth injury medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click on the “Contact Us Now” tab to the right, visit our website, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find birth injury attorneys in your state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.