WBAL 1090 reported this week on the end of a medical malpractice trial involving claims of medical negligence during childbirth. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers have worked on many cases similar to this one, with children severely injured because of errors made by medical professionals during their birth. The settlements and jury verdicts are sometimes high in these cases specifically because the injuries often cause a lifetime of losses which must be taken into account by the damage award.
The mother of the injured girl was admitted to the defendant-hospital in March of 2010. The mother explains that the labor was a rough one. She noted, “It was a real nightmare for me. I was in the second stage of labor. I was pushing involuntarily. My body just wanted to get the baby out. The contractions were overwhelming. I was exhausted. It was a very hard time for us.”
The Illinois medical malpractice lawyers at our firm working on similar cases know that this description is a good representation of the struggle faced by mothers during difficult labor.
In this case the mother was at home with a midwife during the first part of the labor. When things went awry she was rushed to a hospital. In many of these situaitons the child is thrown into distress, with emergency action needed to get the baby out and prevent an injury. Medical teams must be prepared to perform those emergency maneuvers–often a C-section–in a timely fashion.
Unfortunately, in this case, the mother did not have an immediate C-section when she was brought to the hospital. Instead, doctors waited at least two hours before taking the necessary urgent actions. The child suffered serious injuries as a result of the delay, claim the family. The boy, now two years old, suffers from severe developmental disabilities. He will likely need close care throughout his life.
Eventually the family contacted a medical malpractice attorney. A lawsuit was filed against the hospital in February of 2011, about 11 months after the birth. The suit alleged that the delay by the hospital in ordering the C-section was medical negligence. As a result of that negligence the child suffered the developmental injuries that will plague him the rest of this life.
The case recently went to trial, which lasted three weeks. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $55 million. The sum is obviously large, but it was reached by the jury after hearing all of the evidence about the case and the long-term harm suffered by the child. The hospital plans to appeal the decision, so the final resolution of the case will be delayed even longer.
Each Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at our firm is proud to work on behalf of families like the one in this case whose lives are turned upside down by the failure of their medical care providers to act reasonably. It remains a terrible tragedy that so many children who would otherwise enter the world healthy, suffer serious injury as a result of negligence. If you or someone you know is in this situation, be sure to reach out to legal professionals to understand the legal ramifications of the situation.
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