- Medical Malpractice
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A recent jury verdict found that a victim of medical malpractice should receive more than $3.14 million in damages caused by a midwife when the baby victim was born. The then-baby girl is now ten years old, and suffers from severe mental disabilities. She is still fed through a feeding tube, and is confined to a wheelchair. She cannot speak, and she is blind.
The girl’s parents sued the midwife and the hospital where their daughter was born, claiming that the midwife failed to act promptly when a fetal monitor indicated there was a problem during the delivery. According to the complaint, the failure to act resulted in the baby not getting enough oxygen during the birth.
The girl suffers from kabuki syndrome, which is a genetic condition, but the parents’ lawsuit claims that it does not account for the severity of the girl’s overall condition. According to their court filings, only a depletion of oxygen during birth could have caused the girl to suffer from such severe disabilities.
The midwife’s attorney argued that she followed the accepted medical standard of care during the birth. The obstetrician who took over the delivery when complications emerged testified in favor of the midwife’s argument that she provided the accepted standard of care.
The jury decided that the midwife was responsible for the girl’s injuries, and set damages at $2.3 million for future medical expenses, $345,000 for past medical expenses, and $500,000 for the girl’s impairment and loss of enjoyment of life.
However, the jury rejected the plaintiffs’ hospital negligence claim, agreeing with the hospital that they were not responsible for the actions of independent contractors who paid to use facilities at the hospital.
Birth injury cases are very complex, and injuries suffered at birth can have many potential causes. Experienced Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys are able to investigate whether the health care providers in a delivery room did or did not provide the accepted standard of care. When the proper standard of care has not been met, victims of medical malpractice have the option of seeking compensation in court.
Source: Sun Journal “Disabled girl awarded $3M in medical malpractice case” 7/1/2011
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