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Court Ruling May Expand Cases Covered by Newborn Injury Fund

A Florida appeals court ruling this month may significantly broaden the number of brain injuries covered by a “no fault” insurance fund for birth-related injuries. Attorneys for the fund, which is paid for by doctor and hospitals known as the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA, plan to ask the court of appeal to clarify the ruling. The presumption of the ruling is that medical malpractice claims should be covered under NICA and should also be applied to doctors and hospitals that are defendants in such cases. In its ruling, the court also said that neurological injuries that “manifest at a later date” can also be compensated by the fund which relies on annual assessments from doctors and hospitals as well as membership dues from obstetricians. The goal of the NICA was to lower the cost of medical malpractice insurance for those who deliver babies and providing compensation for a limited number of catastrophic injuries including death. These cases are not compensable through traditional litigation. Illinois should consider adopting a fund that helps victims of birth injuries. To read more about the change in birth injury compensation, please click the link.