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Father Files Birth Injury Lawsuit in Portland

newborn child

A Portland, Oregon father has filed a $27.25 million birth injury lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court against the hospital where his daughter was born. He claims medical negligence caused the infant child to be born with severe brain damage and seizures.

The baby was born in March 2010. The lawsuit notes that the mother had previously given birth via Cesarean, but she and he physician had agreed to a trial labor in hopes that this child could be delivered vaginally. The plaintiff claims the labor should have been much more carefully monitored than it was.

Approximately one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Birth defects are one of the leading causes of infant deaths, resulting in more than 20% of infant fatalities.

Birth injury lawsuit

The baby was born after 12 hours of labor and “was found to be suffering from the effects of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy as a result of being subjected to a loss of oxygen to her brain during the course of her mother’s labor. This condition was not detected or diagnosed by defendants and, as a result, plaintiff has sustained a permanent injury to her brain causing the injuries and damages more fully alleged, below,” states the claim.

The plaintiff lists a number of alleged mistakes made by the medical team, including failing to intervene by performing a Cesarean in response to symptoms of fetal distress, inadequately monitoring the baby’s prenatal heart rate and failing to properly resuscitate her and respond to seizures she had immediately following birth.

“Plaintiff’s brain damage has caused her to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy, microcephaly (reduced brain size), developmental delay, developmental articulation disorder, fine motor and speech delays, seizures, an increase in peripheral tone, a decrease in central tone, and has left her without the ability to walk, think, or interact normally with others,” according to the claim.

“Plaintiff’s cognitive abilities have also been reduced as a result of her brain damage, and will be for the rest of her life.”

Birth defects may be life-long

Microcephaly is a rare neurological disorder that occurs when an infant’s head is significantly smaller than average for their age and sex. This condition is sometimes, but not always detected at birth and often causes developmental issues. There’s typically no treatment for this condition, but early intervention may help to improve the quality of the child’s life. Microcephaly is typically caused by abnormal brain development, which can occur in the womb or in infancy, but can also be the result of decreased oxygen to the brain during delivery.

Signs of cerebral palsy typically occur during infancy or when a child is in preschool. This disorder causes impaired movements associated with floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, exaggerated reflexes, involuntary movements, abnormal posture, unsteadiness of walking or a combination of these symptoms. Causes of cerebral palsy include abnormalities or disruptions in brain development, typically before a child is born. In rare cases, a lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery can trigger this disorder. There is no cure for cerebral palsy.