In the delivery room, soon-to-be mothers and fathers expect a high level of care and professionalism from their treating physician and hospital staff. Injuries and death can result when that standard is not met, leaving families with a lifetime of mental, emotional and financial challenges. With the assistance of the courts and an experienced attorney, negligent doctors and hospitals may be found liable and held responsible for their actions. That was the outcome of a recent case where a jury ruled that a negligent hospital should compensate a child and his mother.
News outlet WBKO is reporting that a jury in Kentucky recently handed down an $18 million award for damages suffered during a birthing procedure. The seven-year- old boy now lives with a form cerebral palsy known as spastic quadriplegia. According to the report, the lawsuit was filed against the attending physician, as well as the hospital. Though the jury found that the doctor did not commit and acts of negligence, the hospital was found negligent for that what took place during the labor and delivery process.
As stated in the lawsuit, the following occurred at the time of delivery
***Upon arrival at the hospital, the mother’s labor was induced with a medication called Pitocin, which stimulates contractions to encourage labor
***The mother’s doctor left orders that the contractions were not to advance past four occurrences every ten minutes.
***The contractions were allegedly allowed to continue at a rate of four every ten minutes for more than five hours. Plaintiffs asserted that this prolonged labor resulted in a lack of oxygen for the baby.
***The mother was given an epidural for pain management.
***When she experienced difficulty pushing, the doctor ordered her epidural medication stopped. This did not occur, and the mother alleges that the baby became lodged in the birth canal for an extended period of time.
According to the National Institute of Health, spastic quadriplegia is one of the most serious forms of cerebral palsy. It is generally associated with severe intellectual disabilities, along with severely stiff limbs and a floppy neck. Children with the condition are usually unable to walk of stand independently. Their speech is also difficult to understand and they may experience debilitating seizures. The condition results from severe damage to the development of the brain.
In the Kentucky case, the jury determined that $9 million was an appropriate amount of money to care for the child’s needs over the next 67 years. They also awarded a million and a half to compensate for future earnings and $5 million for future pain and suffering. In litigating the case, plaintiffs argued that the hospital was institutionally negligent in its actions. They asserted that the treating nurses were not adequately trained to handle the complications that developed during the labor and delivery.
If your baby was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia, and you believe the doctor or hospital may be responsible, contact the experienced birth injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today.
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