On September 5, 2014, after eight days of trial and three days of jury deliberations, a Baltimore City medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $3 million in favor of the plaintiff, which was reduced to $1.7 million due to Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages and a calculation error by the jury in determining the lost wages claim, in a case alleging injuries to a baby during birth.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
On December 15, 2011, a woman who was almost 38 weeks pregnant went to Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore (which is now part of the University of Maryland Medical System and is presently called the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus), complaining of shortness of breath. She was transferred to the main hospital at the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore City, where she underwent a chest x-ray on December 16, 2011 that was suggestive of either pneumonia or a pulmonary embolism.
The Baltimore medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the standard of care required that the woman be offered/recommended a Cesarean section delivery under the circumstances but her medical providers negligently failed to do so. They decided to induce labor on December 17, 2011.
During the delivery of her daughter, the mother’s medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the baby’s shoulder became lodged in the birth canal and that the medical providers negligently failed to use the proper birthing techniques to properly address the situation. As a result, the baby suffered permanent and catastrophic injuries during birth and was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, resulting in loss of motion of, and weakness in, the effected upper extremity.
The six-person Baltimore medical malpractice jury that consisted of six women and one man awarded the plaintiff $700,000 in noneconomic damages, which was reduced to Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages in the amount of $695,000 that was in effect on the date of the alleged medical negligence, as well as economic damages that included lost wages for the mother, which the jury miscalculated, leading to a verdict for lost wages that was excessive by $1 million. Hence, the entire jury award was reduced to $1.7 million.
In response to the jury’s verdict and award of damages, a spokesperson for the medical malpractice defendant stated, “UMMC [University of Maryland Medical Systems Corporation] firmly believes the plaintiff did not meet the burden of proof for negligence in this case. The evidence presented was entirely lacking in any medical or scientific basis. It was clear that the jury’s finding was based on sympathy and not on the medical facts of the case.”
Source Uriah Evans, et al. v. University of Maryland Medical Systems Corporation, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Case No.: 24-C-13004285.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries during birth that may be due to medical negligence in Baltimore or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly consult with a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your birth jury claim for you and represent you in a birth injury malpractice case, if appropriate.
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