Last week, a federal medical malpractice jury in Nebraska returned its verdict in the amount of $17 million for the serious and permanent injuries suffered by a baby during her birth in Nebraska on November 2, 2012. The now 2-year-old girl suffered a catastrophic brain injury during labor and delivery, allegedly due to the medical malpractice committed in the hours leading up to her birth at the defendant hospital.
The Underlying Facts
The child’s mother began having contractions at home during the morning of October 30, 2012. On October 31, 2012, the woman was seen by a midwife and the baby was found to be active in the womb. The woman was sent home to allow the labor to progress. At 1 a.m. on November 1, the woman returned to the midwife and remained there for 10 hours while she was having contractions. She was then transferred to the defendant hospital for continuing labor and delivery.
The Nebraska medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that no one at the defendant hospital properly assessed the position of the fetus and failed to determined the strength of contractions. The medical personnel at the hospital administered Pitocin to progress the labor that allegedly caused excessive contractions while the baby was in an abnormal position, which lasted for four and a half hours, thereby leading to brain compression, oxygen deprivation to the fetus’ brain, and permanent brain damage, according to the plaintiff. When the baby was finally born early in the morning on November 2, the baby’s head was deformed and her face was bruised.
As a result of the birth injury, the child cannot walk, cannot talk, and has limited vision, requiring lifetime medical care including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other services and adaptive equipment, which the plaintiff hopes the verdict in her favor will provide. Despite the Nebraska medical malpractice jury’s verdict after a trial that lasted nine days and after the jury deliberated for approximately three hours, Nebraska’s medical malpractice law that caps damages in medical malpractice cases will reduce the verdict to $1.75 million, which was the cap on damages in Nebraska medical malpractice cases in effect at the time of the child’s injury (the Nebraska cap on damages in medical malpractice cases is currently $2.25 million).
The defendant hospital has not indicated whether it will appeal the Nebraska medical malpractice jury’s verdict, but did issue a statement following the verdict in which it stated, “We acknowledge that the experiences of the family and medical condition of this child are indeed tragic and we express our most sincere sympathy to them. We strongly maintain that the objective medical evidence demonstrates that there was no wrongdoing or deviation from the standard of care on the part of our staff that led to this tragic outcome.”
If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury in Nebraska or a birth injury in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Nebraska medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you in a birth injury case, if appropriate.
Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find birth injury lawyers in Nebraska or birth injury lawyers in your state who may assist you.
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