On June 25, 2012, after more than 11 hours of deliberations, a Maryland medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in favor of the parents of a newborn who suffered permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy, mental and physical disabilities, acute renal failure, and other serious injuries as a result of an alleged delay in performing a Cesarean section delivery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2010. The medical malpractice jury trial began on June 4, 2012. The medical malpractice jury consisted of five women and one man.
The jury awarded $25 million for the child’s future expenses, $4 million for lost wages, and $26 million in noneconomic damages (the noneconomic damages will be reduced to $680,000 as a result of Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages that was in effect at the time of the incident in 2010). The child will be in a wheelchair for his entire life and cannot even hold his head up. The lawyers for the parents noted the unfairness of Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages as it applies to the past and future noneconomic injuries and losses suffered in this medical malpractice case.
The proceeds of the verdict will be placed in a special needs trust for the child’s future needs (although a spokesman for The Johns Hopkins Hospital stated that the hospital was stunned by the verdict and plans to file an appeal).
The expectant mother was 30-years-old when she went into labor on March 25, 2010. She had planned to deliver at home with the assistance of a midwife. However, complications arose when the birthing process stopped. She was then transported to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where three specialists took over her care. The Cesarean section was ordered soon after her arrival at the hospital but was not performed until nearly two hours later.
The medical malpractice claim alleged that the most likely cause of the newborn’s permanent injuries and disabilties was the umbilical cord compressing the baby’s neck just 18 minutes before the C-section delivery was performed.
Source: The Daily Record, June 26, 2012.
Birth injuries caused by alleged medical malpractice are some of the most gut-wrenching and compelling medical malpractice claims. Often, the avoidable injuries sustained by the newborn are permanent in nature and devastating both to the child and to the child’s family that is burdened by both the overwhelming emotional trauma and the enormous medical and other expenses that result from such debilitating injuries. What should have been a happy occasion is suddenly and forever transformed into a catastrophe of life-long duration. The parents are often racked by guilt even if their actions in no way contributed to the horrific outcome. The “what-ifs” are often asked over and over again in the minds of the defeated and deflated parents.
If your family suffered from possible medical malpractice that may have led to birth injuries, then the prompt advice from a local medical malpractice attorney would be benficial to help you decide if you should proceed with bringing a medical malpractice claim.
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