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Birth Injury Lawsuit Results in $18 Million Verdict

baby and doctor

Following a harrowing and emotional trial before a Glasgow, Kentucky jury, ten out of 12 jurors agreed that T.J. Samson Community Hospital engaged in negligent conduct with regard to one of its patients during the birth of her son, who now suffers from a debilitating birth injury condition.

While overjoyed with the result of their cerebral palsy lawsuit, the family must face the prospect of a lifelong care plan for their young child, as well as constant monitoring by medical professionals – severely limiting his quality of life.

Facts leading to cerebral palsy lawsuit

In 2007, plaintiff Brittany Hamilton appeared at the T.J. Samson Community Hospital in order to undergo an induction of childbirth. Ms. Hamilton experienced a typical pregnancy with no complications, and did not appear injured or in peril at the commencement of the procedure. According to the doctor’s standing orders, Ms. Hamilton was not to exceed four contractions within one hour’s time. Moreover, the doctor encouraged the nursing staff to reduce her Epidural dosage as she was ultimately having difficulty pushing during the final stages of labor.

Unfortunately, as the testimony and evidence revealed, the hospital staff did not adhere to the directives issued by the doctor, and Ms. Hamilton exceeded her maximum contractions per hour for approximately six consecutive hours. As well, nurses failed to reduce or eliminate administration of the pain-relieving Epidural, causing the baby to essentially become stuck in the birth canal. During this time, the child received a reduced oxygen supply and endured a substantially difficult delivery. As a result of this misconduct, as concluded the Glasgow jury, the child now suffers from spastic quadriplegia, which is a form of cerebral palsy.

Finding negligence

In order to find negligence against medical personnel, the jury must conclude that but for the defendants’ action (or inaction) the resulting injury would not have occurred. Medical negligence can sometimes be difficult to prove, as countless other intervening factors could be at play in the situation, causing the resulting injury. However, the jury in Ms. Hamilton’s case unequivocally concluded that but for the negligence of the nursing staff at the hospital, the young child would not have developed cerebral palsy.

Jury awards $18 million to family

As is common in medical malpractice cases, the jury considered the lifelong costs the Hamilton family will be forced to incur in order to properly care for their child – who may be unable to obtain and maintain gainful employment or care for himself as an adult. As such, the jury estimate a life expectancy of 67 years, and concluded that an award of $9 million for care expenses would be adequately. The jury then concluded that the child should receive $1.5 million to compensate for any future lost earnings. Lastly, the jury awarded another $4.5 million to the family as compensation for the pain and suffering associated with this type of experience.

The hospital commented on the result, stating:

“TJ Samson has been committed to providing the best healthcare possible to our community since 1929. We take the concerns presented in this case very seriously and our hearts go out to Tristan’s family. The high quality of care we provide to our patients every day is the result of a continuing commitment of our dedicated caregivers and physicians. The level of care that is provided to each patient is evident in the more than 1,200 babies that TJ Samson proudly delivered last year alone.”

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