Tampa Bay Online reported this week on the latest legislative maneuvers involving the birth injury lawsuit recovery process for the family of a child with cerebral palsy. As we explained when discussing the challenges that many families face when trying to collect certain damage awards, one family is asking the Florida general assembly to approve a $30.8 million award that a jury gave it after a suit related to mistakes made during the child’s birth. The hospital where the negligence occurred is public. The laws in the state require all suits involving governmental defendants to be dispersed only upon passage of actual pieces of legislation-known as “claims bills.”
The child in this case suffers from cerebral palsy and other disabilities. After a lawsuit was filed, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the boy. They found that the birth injuries were caused by negligent care received at the facility. As often occurs in these situations, the child was deprived of oxygen during his birth. The oxygen problem itself was caused by the overdosing of a drug given to the mother. The drug was supposed to stimulate labor. Instead, because too much was given, it sent the baby into fetal distress. To make matters worse, the medical team which provided the care did not respond to the distress in a timely fashion.
The family has engaged in a prolonged legislative fight in order to get the amount awarded by the jury. The family has been forced to trudge the halls of the state legislative essentially asking all legislators who will listen to pass the bill. On the other side, hospital lobbyists are fighting the measure-disputing that negligence occurred at all. This despite the fact that a jury already heard all the evidence in reaching its ruling and a “special master” recommended that the payment be approved by the state legislature. The endless hoops that this family must attempt to jump through to receive basic fairness is staggering-yet another testament to the misguided nature of virtually all “tort reform” measures.
Our Chicago birth accident attorneys know that families in these situations suffer mightily when they do not have the resources they need to pay for the daunting care required by certain disabilities. In this case, the mother makes only $14,000 annually as a dog groomer. She explains that her son used to be a straight A student. However, she can no longer afford private tutoring, and so the child’s academics have suffered as a result. He is now home-schooled by the mother.
According to this latest report, if the legislature approves this particular birth injury lawsuit claims bill, it will be the largest in the state’s history. Our Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys understand how a case involving this particular injury could occasionally lead to a high verdict amount. Cerebral palsy comes in many variations, but in the most severe cases, the child may need incredibly close and extensive care twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Intensive medical care and nursing help over the course of a long lifetime can add up quickly.
See Our Related Blog Posts: