pennsylvania jury awards 4 million for tragic birth injury

When a family is rocked by the tragic news that their newborn child has been diagnosed with a serious birth injury that they suspect was caused by some sort of medical negligence, they may feel as if they have no options. However, this may not be the case, as they may be able to seek the justice that they need and deserve in a court of law.

To illustrate, consider a case here in Pennsylvania, where just last month a jury handed down one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in the history of Lehigh County to a family whose daughter suffered a devastating birth injury.

According to the complaint, a woman we’ll call Erin went to the office of her OB-GYN for an ultrasound back in August 2009, which revealed that her soon-to-be-born baby daughter weighed roughly 10 pounds. While Erin was understandably concerned about her ability to deliver a child of such large proportions safely, her OB-GYN assured her that everything would be fine.

When Erin was ultimately admitted to the hospital to deliver her baby, her labor reached a point where it stopped progressing by the eighth hour. However, the lawsuit alleges that rather than proceed with a cesarean section — which a medical expert testified was the safest option in this situation — her OB-GYN elected to try a traditional delivery via the use of forceps.

Unfortunately, complications arose after the baby became stuck in Erin’s pelvis during the delivery, and the baby was deprived of oxygen for up to three-and-a-half minutes.

A neonatal intensive team successfully resuscitated Erin’s daughter and she was later transferred to a Philadelphia-area hospital for extensive treatment designed to help prevent the onset of brain damage. Sadly, the daughter, now 4, was later diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy despite these efforts.

The lawsuit also alleges that Erin suffered serious personal injuries in the botched delivery that left her unable to work and support her family.

Fortunately, the jury ultimately found that the OB-GYN had indeed departed from accepted medical practice and awarded the family $4 million.

After enduring something as sad and shocking as a birth injury, it’s important for parents in these situations to understand that they are not alone. An experienced attorney can answer their questions, explain their rights and pursue justice on their behalf.

Source: The Morning Call, “Lehigh County jury awards $4 million in birth injury suit,” Peter Hall, Sept. 11, 2013

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