Last week the News-Gazette discussed a recent Chicago medical malpractice lawsuit in which a large settlement was reached between a family and a negligent area hospital. According to the report, the Illinois medical malpractice in question stemmed from problems during the birth of a young child in 2002 at the Christ Medical Center. As it common in many of these birth injury cases, the lawsuit was filed by the young child’s guardians claiming that the care provided during her birth was inadequate, leading to significant birth injuries.
In this case, the complaint alleged that the nurses and doctors involved in delivering the girl delayed unnecessarily. As we have often explained, when a newborn is showing signs of fetal distress, it becomes incumbent on the medical professionals involved to act in a timely fashion to ensure that the child is born as quickly and safely as possible. Unfortunately, while most of the time a medical team acts just as expected and does their best to prevent injuries, there are some instances when those individuals do not act in as efficient a manner as possible. When that occurs, there may be medical liability.
For example, in this latest instance, the fetal distress led to the young child’s brain being deprived of oxygen. Lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain can have serious and permanent damage to the child, which is exactly why time is of the essence when it comes to these situations. In this case, the oxygen deprivation continued for far too long. The young girl consequently had severe brain damage. She was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy. As a result she will require the daily help of caregivers for the rest of her life. The young girl’s grandparents became guardians of the young child a few years after she was born. At that time, they initiated the legal action seeking to hold those responsible for her improper delivery accountable for their actions. The hospital involved decided to settle the lawsuit earlier this year. The family and the facility recently agreed to a settlement in the amount of $7.5 million. The obstetrician and gynecologist who was involved in the case did not take part in the settlement.
The family explains that the award will ensure that the young girl has everything that she needs now and in the future. A concern of many parents in these situations is what will happen to their child when they are no longer around. There are very real questions about who will take of their disabled loved one for the decades that they may need it without their parents. That is particularly true in this case, considering that the girl’s legal guardians are grandparents who are nearing sixty years old. As a result of this settlement it is likely that the child will have the resources she needs to live her best life even when her grandparents are no longer around to take care of her. These legal actions take those situations into account. Considering the costs of daily care and the life expectancy of many children born with these disabilities, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys know how quickly these medical malpractice lawsuits can demand significant damages.
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