Millions awarded in long-running birth injury case
The decision to pursue a civil lawsuit regarding a birth injury is never an easy one. Sometimes, however, a lawsuit is the only means by which a Texas family can hold a negligent doctor or hospital accountable. Moreover, the settlement from such a lawsuit may be the only manner in which a family can cope financially with medical expenses and rehabilitation for their child. Since birth injuries may impact a child and family members for life, the stakes can be quite high in a related lawsuit.
Recently in another state, a jury awarded $18 million to a family whose child suffers from cerebral palsy. When the woman gave birth in 2007, her pregnancy had been normal and complication-free up until that time. However, during the birth itself, her labor had to be induced and her physician issued specific instructions to his nursing staff. These included making sure the woman's contractions did not surpass four in the span of one hour, and also that her Epidural dose should be reduced.
Unfortunately, the staff did not adhere to the instructions and, as a result, her baby became lodged in the birth canal. During the delivery process this can be particularly dangerous as it impedes the baby's oxygen supply. That appears to have occurred in this case and the child subsequently developed cerebral palsy. The jury in the ensuing birth injury case noted that were it not for the action or inaction of the defendants, the child would not have suffered from spastic quadriplegia, which is a type of cerebral palsy.
While a successful birth injury lawsuit can never fully right the wrong done to a family, it can provide sorely needed compensation for injuries. In this case, the jury took into account the lifelong expenses of the child's medical condition. The jurors thus awarded the family $9 million for care, $4.5 million for pain and suffering and $1.5 million for future lost wages.