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Family Settles for $2.82 Million in Birth Injury Lawsuit Victory

Infant with birth injuries

Described by experts as “the most damaged category of persons,” an eight-year old girl suffering from the severest form of cerebral palsy has accepted a $2.82 million settlement from the hospital alleged to have caused her suffering.

The child’s family filed the birth injury lawsuit after enduring a particularly horrific labor and delivery experience at the hands of their healthcare providers, including major alleged oversights of fetal distress. The hospital has not admitted any liability in the matter, however the settlement comes just two years after the defendants offered the family $1.3 million as an “interim” settlement pending the resolution of the matter.

Details of birth injury lawsuit

According to allegations raised by the child’s parents, the mother had endured a relatively uneventful pregnancy until it started to near conclusion. After experiencing unrelenting abdominal pain and discomfort, the mother visited the hospital for observation. She was admitted for four days upon observation of unusual bleeding. After her four-day stay, the mother was discharged and routinely monitored by her obstetric team.

Approximately four weeks later, the mother was again experiencing abdominal pain and revisited the hospital for further testing and observation. However, at this visit, the mother was not scanned or provided the routine monitoring procedures typical in this situation. She was sent home, only to return the next day further complaining of pain.

Upon examination, it was determined that the mother was in fact fully dilated and her body was communicating that birth was imminent. The child, a baby girl, was born later that evening and had experienced significant periods of oxygen deprivation and other birth complications.

Parents allege hospital responsible for child’s injury

The parents contend that the hospital was negligent in failing to properly monitor and scan the mother at her follow-up visit to the hospital. Further, given her history of ante-natal bleeding and abdominal pain, she should have been monitored much more closely. In sum, the plaintiffs allege that their baby had been deprived of sufficient oxygen for at least six days in utero, giving rise to her subsequent cerebral palsy – which is classified as quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, the most severe form of the condition.

While the hospital has not admitted any liability in the matter at this point, it opted to settle with the parents for a sum of $2.82 million. The child will require lifelong intensive care, and will never be able to enjoy a typical lifestyle or care for herself without intervention. In fact, the child was unable to ingest nutrition for the first year of her life but through a feeding tube.

Cerebral palsy and birth trauma

Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries affecting families today. The condition can occur due to genetics or environmental factors, with the latter often involving negligent nursing care and the failure to properly monitor the mother and baby during the labor process. Oftentimes, babies are deprived oxygen due to prolonged periods within the birth canal, at which point an emergency C- section should be ordered to prevent any instance of fetal distress. However, nursing staff and obstetricians often miss signs of fetal distress, resulting in difficult and prolonged birth experiences for both mother and child – which in turn can result in birth trauma such as permanent fetal brain damage.

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