Over the past few months our Illinois birth injury lawyers have followed the story of a child with cerebral palsy who has been fighting to have a state legislature pass a bill so that he can receive the birth injury lawsuit award that he was given by a jury. We explained how the child had suffered permanent physical disability as a result of problems made by medical caregivers during his birth. As a result, he requires around-the-clock care. His mind is still quite sharp, and he was getting straight As in school. However, his mother eventually could no longer afford to pay for the private help that he needed. Therefore, she was forced to take him out of school, and he now is home schooled.
The family’s jury award of $30 million would have obviously provided plenty of funds to ensure that the boy had the close care he needed to thrive throughout his life. However, the hospital which committed the medical malpractice was run by the state government. Rules in the state require that any damage award given out against a public-defendant-like a public hospital-can only be paid out if the state legislature passes an individual “claims bill” authorizing payment of the funds. This is a long, arduous, expensive, and painstaking process. It is undoubtedly made all the more frustrating considering that it must be engaged in after the long legal process has already run its course.
The delay is made excruciating for the family with the knowledge that their loved one is forced to battle his special needs without the help he could have if only the endless hoops did not have to be jumped through. In this case, the mother explained her son’s condition by noting that he “is a spastic quadriplegic which means both of his arms and legs are impacted. He also has dystonia, a condition that causes debilitating twisting when his muscles contract.” Not only will the funds be used to provide around the clock care, but also to purchase special equipment. Right now the boy can only communicate verbally in ways that his mother can understand. However, special computers exist which would allow him to talk in real time and better interact with those around him.
The family in this case had been fighting for several years with no luck to have access to the funds awarded by a jury to pay for the care needed. However, according to the Denver Channel News, the state legislature finally passed a bill on Friday which would award the family $10 million over a period of ten years. The $10 million is an amendment from the $30 million that was awarded by the jury. With its passage in the state House it now goes to the state’s Senate for possible approval. That body is expected to hear the bill and vote today. This is further than the bill has advanced in previous attempts over the past few years. Our Chicago birth injury attorneys hope that the bill is passed by the Senate, finally putting to rest this long, legal ordeal for the family.
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