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.
In addition, as part of the settlement agreement, the facility will pay for the lien that was issued against the family by state officials for their failure to pay significant medical bills. It is often an added disgrace that after these medical errors are made, families are left with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, on top of the financial needs of their new child. Many families simply cannot afford those bills and are forced to fend off creditors and others who seek to take their often already modest possessions to pay for those bills. Many families truly have their lives destroyed by these events, and it is only logical that those responsible for the resulting harm pay for the consequences of their actions.
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