Pregnant women and infants are especially vulnerable during childbirth. Like in other medical situations, people who entrust their health to a physician have the right to expect that their physicians will give them the best possible care. Unfortunately, physicians can make mistakes, and medical malpractice can have terrible effects on a person’s quality of life. When medical malpractice happens during childbirth resulting in a birth injury, the results can be downright tragic.
Recently, a family, whose son experienced severe birth injuries, won a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who delivered their son. The jury awarded the family one of the largest medical malpractice judgments in U.S. history.
The son, who is now 8-years-old, has cerebral palsy. The family filed suit against the delivering doctor because they believe that the brain damage and their son’s medical condition was directly caused by the physician’s decision to delay delivery.
The family, who filed their lawsuit in 2005, says that on January 31, 2003, the mother’s amniotic fluid levels decreased by half. The doctor did not perform a Caesarian section until February 2, delivering the baby after allowing it to remain in a harmful prenatal environment. In addition to being done late, the family stated the C-section was done improperly.
The son suffers from seizures, and he cannot walk, talk or eat without assistance. Because of a doctor’s mistake, he will need specialized assistance and medical care for the rest of his life.
Out of the $58 million that will be given to the family, $8 million is meant to compensate them for past and future medical expenses. The other $50 million was awarded to make up for pain, suffering and other hardships that the family has been made to endure because of a tragic medical mistake.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Family Gets $58 Million In Record-Breaking Malpractice Suit,” 5/26/2011