An obstetrician and a local hospital in Illinois have agreed to settle a medical malpractice case filed against them for $12 million that alleged that medical negligence caused a newborn to suffer severe and permanent brain damage. The now 9-year-old child has cerebral palsy and cannot walk, hear, talk, sit up, roll over, or take care of her personal hygiene. She spends her time either in bed or in a wheelchair and she cannot dress herself or feed herself. She is also incontinent. She presently attends special needs classes. Despite her disabilities, her parents say that she is a happy and loving child.
What Caused The Child’s Injuries And Disabilities?
When her pregnant mother went to the hospital to deliver, she was placed on fetal monitoring that indicated that her baby was fine. She was given Pitocin to expedite her labor and delivery, and her delivery seemed to be progressing in a normal fashion. But the hospital failed to discontinue the Pitocin at the proper time, and even increased the dosage, which was contrary to hospital policies. There were signs of fetal distress that required the discontinuance of Pitocin and that required that the baby be delivered promptly by Cesarean section delivery, which was not done. The medical malpractice claim alleged that had the Pitocin been discontinued at the appropriate time and had the baby been promptly delivered by Cesarean section, the baby would not have suffered brain damage.
The medical malpractice case was settled with the hospital agreeing to pay $11 million and the obstetrician agreeing to contribute $1 million towards the costs of nursing care, physical therapy services, and medical equipment and supplies that the 9-year-old girl will require for the rest of her life (her life expectancy is anticipated to be 50 years, at the most), which will be placed in a restricted trust account for such purposes.
The settlement amounts appear to be fair to all concerned inasmuch as the hospital has stated that it has learned from the incident and has implemented what it has learned, and the child’s medical expenses and daily care expenses should be covered by the settlement for the rest of her life.
If medical malpractice may be the cause of your child’s injuries while in the womb, during delivery, or shortly after birth, you should promptly seek the advice of a local medical malpractice attorney to be advised about your legal rights and responsibilities in the matter, and to promptly and thoroughly investigate the cause(s) of the birth injuries. While no amount of money may change the results of medical negligence associated with the birth of a child, the responsible negligent medical provider(s) should be held accountable for the burden to pay the medical expenses and other losses suffered by the disabled child and the child’s family.
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