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$13 Million Verdict in Birth Injury Case — Failure to Perform C-Section

Those familiar with traumatic births and the potential consequences appreciate that one of the most important choices that a medical team must make is deciding whether to allow a vaginal birth to continue or to order an emergency Cesarean section.

Sometimes C-section births are scheduled early on in a pregnancy–particularly if the mother is at heightened risk for complications or previously gave birth via C-section. Barring that, most mothers plan to give birth vaginally. However, if complications develop during the birth itself, then it is often critical to perform an emergency C-section to prevent serious harm from affecting the child or mother.

When medical teams do not follow standard procedures in failing to order the C-section in a timely manner and a birth injury results, then it may be appropriate to seek legal recourse to recover for damages.

Birth Injury Case
That general issue seemed to be at the heart of a recent birth injury lawsuit. As reported by MLive, both sides in the matter did not reach a settlement and the case went to trial late last month.

At the trial the attorney for the mother and child explained how things went wrong during the delivery in early 2008. During the birth, the baby’s arm became caught on the mother’s pelvic bone. This is a somewhat common complication, and doctors must be familiar with the best ways to handle the problem. Different methods are available, up to and including an emergency C-section.

Unfortunately, as the plaintiff’s attorney argued, the doctor’s did not order a C-section and did not use proper care when trying to extract the child. Instead, excessive force was applied to the baby’s head. The result was immense strain on nerve’s in the child’s right arm–which was caught on the pelvic bone.

As a result of this complication, the child suffered a serious injury. The story notes that she was left “disfigured’ and has no use of her right arm. It is unclear if any amount of surgery will be able to repair the nerve damage.

After hearing all of the evidence in the case, including the assertions by the defense team that all standard procedures were followed, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. All told, they awarded the mother and young daughter nearly $13 million. Unfortunately, the family will likely not receive that total amount, perhaps less than a third of that total. One of the reasons is that the state law arbitrarily caps certain kinds of damages, like the ones that affected the family in this case. As a result, for no clear reason, the jury’s determination will be thrown out for a much lower amount.

The defendant hospital in the case indicated after the trial they they were looking into their appeals options. If an appeal is pursued, then the family will be forced to wait even longer before receiving any compensation for the serious injury they have been dealing with for more than five years.

For help with a potential birth injury case throughout Illinois, please feel free to contact our legal team today.

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$4 Million Verdict for Negligence Leading to Cerebral Palsy