An Ohio jury recently awarded $14.5 million dollars to an 11-year-old boy for injuries he suffered at birth. According to the website, Cleveland.com, the jury returned a verdict against a physician and health center, finding them both liable for medical malpractice. The young boy reportedly has cerebral palsy, along with visual impairments and severe cognitive disabilities. His lawsuit made the claim that he will require medical assistance for the remainder of his life.
According to the article, the mother was 36-years-old at the time of her son’s birth. She had a history of difficult pregnancy and her first baby was delivered by emergency cesarean section at 32 weeks. While pregnant with her 11-year-old, the woman reportedly went into labor three times, with each incident resulting in a hospital stay to stop labor with medication. Her last stay ended on April 4, 2003. On April 10, 2003, she was reportedly readmitted at 12:30 pm, when her water broke. According to the report, the mother asked for an immediate delivery, but was denied. She reportedly asked again for a delivery around 5:30 pm when the attending obstetrician arrived, but her request was again denied. Her son was reportedly delivered around 9:00 pm after exhibiting signs of distress. Examination showed that the baby suffered a massive brain hemorrhage, which reportedly occurred around 5:30 pm, while the mother was waiting for delivery.
The defense asserted that the baby was premature, reportedly stating that the birth injuries were not preventable or avoidable. The jury did not agree, finding medical negligence. They also found fault in the hospital’s failure to inform the mother of the significant risk for hemorrhaging and the refusal of her cesarean section request. The award amount reportedly broke down as follows:
-$8 million for future care
-$5 million for pain and suffering
-$1 million for the mother’s costs
-$500,000 for past economic losses
Medical Malpractice Claims in Illinois
Awards of this level are extremely controversial. While doctors and legislatures want to limit award amounts in favor of the medical community, victims and their attorneys know how vital these awards are to at least ensure an adequate quality of life for the injured party. Despite several attempts to cap malpractice award amounts in Illinois, the higher courts consistently protected the rights of the victim by finding these limits unconstitutional.
An important point for consideration in a medical malpractice lawsuit is the statute of limitations. In Illinois, you must file your claim within two years from the date of injury or the date that you should reasonably become aware of the injury. For child claimants under the age of 18-years-old, the limitation period if eight years from the date of injury. For mentally incompetent parties, the statute of limitations does not begin until the impairment is removed.
If your family or child has been impacted by a birth injury, call an experienced attorney at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation. The attorneys of Levin & Perconti will aggressively advocate for you to pursue any relief to which you are entitled.
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