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Medical Malpractice Suit Filed Following Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

The Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys at our firm work with many families whose children have developed cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice during the child’s birth. This is not the only way that the condition can arise. Developmental problems while the child is in the womb may lead to certain brain development problems with CP resulting. However, in many cases, the injury actually does not arise until the moment when the child is born. It is often heartbreaking to consider that many children develop perfectly, just to have their life-long good health snatched at the last minute because of errors during their delivery.

When it occurs in our area, many families rightly seek to hold the negligent parties responsible by filing Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits. By seeking redress and demanding accountability, the involved professionals and facilities are often spurred to make changes to prevent repeat errors in the future.

That logic appears to be at the heart of a medical malpractice lawsuit discussed by the San Louis Obispo Tribune. The story shares the dispute involving a family who has sued a gynecologist for care they claim led to their child developing cerebral palsy. The doctor denies the charges and explains that he handled the labor and prenatal care properly.

The little girl at the heart of this case is now almost three years old. She was born in April of 2009 at an area medical center. Unfortunately, her birth did not go smoothly and she suffered a serious brain injury which led to her cerebral palsy. The condition is permanent and she will require close (and expensive) care throughout her life. Extrapolated throughout her lifetime, the girl’s care will likely cost anywhere from $35 to $50 million. The cost of these injuries is often quite high.

The case is currently in its third week of trial. The original lawsuit named both the hospital and doctor as defendants. The hospital reached a settlement with the family, but the doctor did not settle, leading to this trial. At trial, the family’s attorney argued that the defendant doctor should have known that the child was in trouble when he was called into the delivery room early in the morning on the day of the birth. However, the professionals apparently did not expedite the delivery. As a result, the girl’s heart rate dropped significantly in the minutes before her birth. Despite these signs, no emergency maneuvers were used, such as forceps, vacuum extraction, or a C-section. There were not even discussions to prepare for one of these emergency options. The doctor explains that he did not think there was any reason for the delivery to be expedited in this particular case.

The plaintiff’s attorney argued that the doctor expected to deliver the child at 6:13am that morning, but because not expediting procedures were employed, the birth did not occur until twenty minutes later at 6:38am. That delay had severe consequences for the girl, leading to the brain damage and lifelong disability. The trial is expected to continue for a few more weeks before being given to the jury to determine liability.

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