Calgary Parents Demand $12 Million in Birth Injury Case
A family from Calgary, Canada has filed a cerebral palsy lawsuit that demands $12 million in compensatory damages for their young daughter’s medical complications.
The birth injury complaint claims that doctors were negligent during the labor and delivery of the now two-year-old toddler. The plaintiffs filed the birth injury lawsuit against Alberta Health Services, High River Hospital, five doctors, and six nurses that were allegedly involved in the care of mother and child.
Catastrophic injuries alleged
The cerebral palsy lawsuit states that due to the alleged negligence of the healthcare providers, the minor child was born “in an extremely compromised state” and that she “required vigorous resuscitation efforts.” She remained essentially non-responsive for a period of time after her birth. The healthcare providers diagnosed the child as suffering from oxygen deprivation to the brain, seizures, and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Subsequently, she was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The young child’s problems didn’t end there. The parents claim that as a result of the oxygen deprivation to her brain, she was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
The lawsuit points to an alleged failure of the healthcare providers to communicate with each other, and indicates that the doctors and nurses reportedly failed to respond to the needs of the mother and child. The parents are demanding $11.625 million in compensatory damages for their child and $300,000 each for the mother and father.
Toddler suffers severe, permanent challenges
Should the family obtain a jury award or settlement, the compensatory damages could significantly help them with the cost of caring for the young child. The minor child is expected to suffer from severe, debilitating medical problems for her lifetime and the costs of raising a child with special needs are by no means insignificant. In addition to the initial medical expenses and rehabilitation for the mother and child, the parents are likely going to need to arrange for ongoing speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, special education, and other specialized services for the child. The cost of all of these services can quickly skyrocket. Additionally, the parents will likely need to arrange for ongoing care for the girl in the event that she survives both of them.
It isn’t known exactly which physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional challenges the minor child faces. However, the lawsuit does note that she suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy. This means that all four of the girl’s limbs are affected. Cerebral palsy involves the disruption of proper muscle functioning due to brain damage. This medical condition can involve muscle rigidity, spasticity, or ataxia.
Other possible symptoms and complications of cerebral palsy include the following:
- Difficulty swallowing and eating
- Inability to walk or difficulty walking
- Intellectual disabilities
- Loss of vision/hearing
- Developmental delays
- Urinary incontinence
- Mental health conditions
- Oral diseases
- Abnormal pain perception
Birth injury cases far too common
Birth injury cases are not as uncommon as one might think. In fact, one estimate suggests that seven out of every 1,000 live births involve a birth injury. While the specifics of this particular birth injury lawsuit are unknown, these types of cases often arise when healthcare providers fail to monitor a mother in labor appropriately.
Obstetric specialists should pay close attention to the fetal heart rate monitor, for example, and recommend an emergency C-section if fetal distress is indicated. By treating these problems promptly, many birth injuries that involve oxygen deprivation to the brain could be prevented.