Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

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The birth of a child should be a happy experience, but for one family, the happiness turned to sadness when the baby suffered a birth injury. The parents have filed a lawsuit in Cook County against a hospital and medical team that were allegedly negligent in their treatment, causing serious and permanent injuries to the infant. The lawsuit requests a trial by jury and damages in excess of $50,000.

Crash Cesarean Section

A crash cesarean section, or c-section, is performed on an emergency basis. Therefore, the c-section was not previously planned as part of the pregnancy medical exams. A c-section is a medical procedure to extract the infant, which is done instead of a vaginal birth. The c-section is often completed as a precaution to ensure the infant remains safe and healthy during labor and delivery. In this case, the woman’s c-section was done at the last minute and the baby suffered a birth injury.

Permanent Birth Injuries
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The family of a child who was disabled after numerous botched surgeries has received a settlement in the case. The child was born with a birth defect that required surgery. However, according to the lawsuit, the doctors did not exercise due care when performing the operation and as a result, caused additional medical problems. The botched surgery led to other surgeries and even some procedures that were considered experimental. The boy was left permanently disabled and will require lifelong care.

Esophageal Atresia

The baby in this case was born with a birth defect called esophageal atresia. This is a congenital condition, meaning that that the baby had the defect in the womb. However, according to doctors, this type of medical condition is usually corrected with surgery. In this case, the baby underwent surgery which was supposed to fix the problem. Esophageal atresia occurs when the esophagus is not completely attached to the stomach. Surgery is done to attach the esophagus properly. When surgery is done correctly there should be no further problems and the baby will develop normally.
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A mother is alleging that negligence during birth caused brain damage to her daughter. The Cook County woman gave birth at Little Company of Mary Hospital in December of 2008. The lawsuit names the Evergreen Park hospital, the woman’s doctor and the nurse and is seeking damages of more than $50,000. The woman is represented by Levin & Perconti, Ltd.

Birth Injuries Lead to Brain Damage

The birth of a child is one of the happiest days in a parent’s life. However, when something goes wrong during delivery, the result can be devastating. In this case, the lawsuit states that the infant suffered hypoxia, ischemia, and asphyxia during birth. These are all related to lack of oxygen which can result in brain damage. Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common conditions caused by lack of oxygen during birth. Other brain damage injuries can occur as well, including autism. In this case, the severe oxygen deprivation at birth caused severe and permanent brain damage to the daughter.

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A Chicago mother has filed a lawsuit in Cook County naming the doctor and hospital where her infant was harmed as the result of a circumcision that went wrong. The woman gave birth to her son on September 10, 2013 at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and the baby was soon circumcised. According to the lawsuit, the infant was improperly circumcised leaving him disfigured. The problem caused tissue loss and loss of sensation and required additional surgeries to try to correct the problem. The mother seeks compensation for medical costs, lost wages, litigation costs, and pain and suffering.

Medical Mistakes at Birth

The birth process can bring on a wide range of complications which could have a negative impact on the baby. The doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals must provide proper medical treatment. When a mistake is made, the doctor is held responsible. Some birth injuries are more serious than others. For example, when oxygen is cut off to the baby during the birth a brain injury may occur and it could cause cerebral palsy or diminished mental capacity. These types of injuries are generally not reversible and the child will require constant care throughout his or her lifetime. Medical mistakes that cause birth injuries should not go unreported. A qualified birth injury attorney knows how to litigate your case and get you the money you need to pay for current and future expenses that were a result of the mistake.

Medical Procedures Gone Wrong

When a medical procedure is performed it is up to the doctor and other medical staff to ensure that it is completed correctly. Further, they must follow up to make certain that the patient is responding properly after the procedure and must provide additional treatment as needed. In this case, a circumcision, a procedure that should be relatively simple, went terribly wrong. The result was a botched surgery that required additional surgeries to correct. The child will suffer permanent deformity and will have to deal with this medical condition for the rest of his life.
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In Texas, the family of a baby who was injured during the birthing process is seeking compensation in the amount of $27 million from the hospital and several medical professionals. The claim centers around a condition called perinatal asphyxia, or the inadequate supply of oxygen during birth.

The allegations of the case are as follows:

*The mother visited her physician at 36 weeks of pregnancy, allegedly complaining of pelvic pain and vaginal discharge
*She was not having contractions and her water has yet to break
*An examination undergone during the visit allegedly showed that her cervix was actively in birth preparation
*The mother was admitted to the hospital and labor was allegedly induced
*Later in the day, the baby was born with blue skin from lack of circulation. He was also flaccid and failed to respond to stimuli

The mother alleges in court documents that, though the baby’s head delivered normally, his body became stuck. The medical staff allegedly used various techniques to complete the delivery. He was reportedly treated for perinatal asphyxia and placed in a ventilator, before he was transferred to another hospital that operated a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Physicians at the second hospital reportedly gave a diagnosis of respiratory failure, along with clinical sepsis and the perinatal asphyxia. After a hospital stay of almost a month, the baby was further diagnosed with multicystic leukoencephalopathy. The family claims that the hospitals, as well as their doctors, failed to adequately monitor the baby’s well being during the birth.
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For most women, pregnancy is an exciting time, filled with planning, nesting and dreaming about the new life being brought into the world. But it is also a time for great caution, especially with pregnancy related illness increases the risk of birth related injuries for mother and baby.

Preeclampsia and HELLP

Preeclampia is a medical condition that occurs when a woman develops high blood pressure during pregnancy. According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, thousands of women and babies are sickened by the illness each year. These cases can also be fatal for the mother, the baby or both. The syndrome is particularly dangerous because many of the symptoms mirror conditions that are common in most healthy pregnancies. The Preeclampsia Foundation lists the following symptoms:

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It is easy to develop the assumption that all birth injury cases result in a settlement or judgement for the plaintiff. But that is not true. News stories and blog posts are simply far more likely to discuss cases that result in liability as illustrative of the ways in which the legal system works and preventable injuries can affect the birthing process. But just because you hear more about the cases where plaintiffs are successful does not mean that doctors are almost always found liable.

In fact, the opposite may be true. When a case goes to trial, the burden is still on the plaintiff (injured child and family) to produce sufficient evidence to prove negligence. Sometimes that burden is hard to meet, and judges and juries routinely find for doctors. This basic concept is important to reiterate whenever faced with arguments from those seeking to change legal rules as a result of “runaway verdicts” or excessive lawsuits.”

For example, just this month the Press Herald reported on a case in which a birth injury lawsuit verdict went against the plaintiff. According to the report, the case was filed by a mother who essential claimed that excessive force was used during delivery. That force apparently led the child to suffer a brachial plexus injury–the nerve bundle near the shoulder that control’s ones’ arm, hand, and finger.

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NBC 2 News shared a brief story recently on a new medical malpractice lawsuit that stems from a unique tragedy affecting a mother and her infant daughter. The situation stirs the heart and, no matter how the case shakes out, it is a reminder of the immense saddness and tragedy that is wrapped up in each individual med mal case that is workings its way through the court system. We must never forget that real lives and immense emotion are involved in these situations.

Smothering Death

According to the story, a mother was at the defendant-hosptial after just giving birth to her new daughter. Not long after the actual delivery, the infant was given to the mother to begin breastfeeding. The mother allegedly told the nurses on staff that day that they should come and take the infant away once the breastfeeding was complete. Throughout this time, the mother was still a bit out of it as a result of the medications she was given during the delivery–it is unclear if she was given additional medications which might have affected her mental condition after the delivery itself.

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It doesn’t take much following of birth injury news before one gets a pretty clear idea of certain trends. Unfortunately, time and again the same or similar circumstances are at the root of most preventable injuries during childbirth. Often a child shows some signs of fetal distress, those signs are missed or not acted upon quickly, and the child is born following prolonged oxygen deprivation. The oxygen deprivation often leads to permanent brain injuries, such as cerebral palsy. This is perhaps the most common occurrence seen by our Chicago birth injury lawyers, leading to Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits.

Of course, many other birth injuries occur as well. For example, This Is Plymouth News reported this week on the death of an infant caused by a misplaced oxygen tube. The child was two-months old at the time of his passing. An investigation into the situation was recently concluded by public officials, and the group determined that medical errors were the main cause of the death.

The child had a problematic birth and development from the start. The birth itself took place at a specialty hospital, because doctors discovered earlier that some of the child’s organs were growing outside of his body. Just a few days after his birth he underwent a successful operation to correct the problem. The surgery went well. In fact, his condition continued to improve and his medical situation was eventually upgraded to stable instead of life-threatening. About two months after his birth he was transferred to a different hospital. He was on a ventilator, but doctors expected him to recover.

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Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm is proud to work on birth injury cases, because they often represent the situations where victims are most in need of legal redress. When a mistake is made during the birthing process that could have been prevented, families are often forced to forever alter their lives as they work to help their disabled youngster meet the challenges of growing up with a defect or disability. Their task is made significantly more difficult if they do not have the resources to ensure that their loved one can receive the close medical and caregiving support to meet their basic needs. For children suffering particularly debilitating injuries, the costs of access to that basic level of care and equipment can be incredibly high. It is for that reason that some birth injury lawsuit end with significant verdicts or settlements.

For example, the Contra Costa Times reported last week on a proposed settlement in a birth injury case. The suit in question was filed two and a half years ago by a woman and her family after the woman experienced a traumatic childbirth. Shortly after he was born, the woman’s son was diagnosed with neurological injuries that were caused by fetal distress. The suit claimed that deficient care at the facility was responsible for the injury, and that the child would have been born completely healthy were it not for that negligence. Specifically, the court documents alleged that the 18-year old mother showed clear signs of fetal distress while in labor. Yet, ignoring those signs, the doctors involved failed to take action. An emergency C-section was likely necessary but it never occurred. The legal action therefore sought redress for the costs of the lifetime of care that the young child would need as a result of the error.

As the legal process proceeded the legal representatives for the public hospital involved in the suit and the mother’s attorney met to discuss a possible settlement. Many cases such as this ultimately do settle, often because the negligent parties become aware of their negligence and wish to avoid the time and expense that a trial often brings. For example, in this case, the attorney for the mother worked with the opposing counsel to reach a proposed agreement whereby the hospital would provide $2.8 million to settle the medical malpractice lawsuit.