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Jury awards $20.5 Million in Medical Malpractice Case

A jury awarded $20 million medical malpractice settlement finding that a boy’s lasting medical problems caused by mistakes made at his birth. Jurors deliberated for about four hours before deciding that both the doctor and the hospital were negligent in their treatment of the mother who was giving birth to the baby boy. The jury assigned 60 percent of the negligence to the doctor and 40 percent to the hospital. The day the baby was born, the mother called her doctor because she believed there may be something wrong with her unborn child. The doctor, who was not her primary obstetrician, told her to go to the medical center. After the mother arrived, she was hooked up to a fetal monitoring system, which indicated the baby was in distress. The nurses called the obstetrician who gave the mother advice, but he did not arrive for two hours. In that time, the baby got very little oxygen. The doctor’s decision to attempt to induce labor worsened the situation. By the time the baby was delivered by Cesarean-section about four hours after the mother arrived at the medical center, irreparable damage had been done. The child has cerebral palsy, no use of his hands, is almost completely blind and is mentally retarded. The child is now 7 years old and functions at the level of a 6-to-9 month old. His parents will receive $2 million of the award for health care expenses and related costs. He was additionally given $18.5 million for lost earning capacity, pain and suffering and medical expenses. The family stated that the majority of the money will be used for the 24-hour care he needs for the rest of his life. To read the full story, click here.