Medical Malpractice Verdict for Plaintiff Against Obstetrician

The Roanoke Times reported this week on the end of a medical malpractice lawsuit stemming from complications during childbirth. The jury found in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, awarded them a significant sum for the serious, long-term injuries suffered by an infant. The funds will be used to pay for the close care that the child with need for the rest of her life. Each Illinois medical malpractice lawyer at our firm works on cases very similar to the one described here.

The Case

The family in this situation gave birth to their daughter in November of 2001. The mother in this case was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This is not all that uncommon condition caused by pregnancy hormones interfering with insulin function. The condition presents problems such as nausea and increased risk of infection. However, when properly handled, those conditions can be managed without too much complication for the pregnancy.

One key part of managing the condition involves deciding the proper birthing method. Children born to mothers who have gestational diabetes are more likely to be born with higher than normal birth weight. Larger children may present more complications when born vaginally. That is why it is important for practitioners to advise mothers of the need to give birth via Caesarean section if the child’s health may be compromised by a vaginal birth.

The Birth

The expectant mother in this case had labor induced by her obstetrician. However, the lawsuit claimed that the doctor performed unnecessary medical treatments without the mother’s permission while still missing signs of complications in the baby.

As a result, the medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the child was born with various injuries. She had dangerously low blood pressure at birth and had lost nearly one half of her entire blood supply. The girl’s kidneys were destroyed and she suffered oxygen deprivation resulting in a serious brain injury. The child now suffers from cerebral palsy. She has already had two kidney transplants.

The girl is now ten years old, and the family has already spent nearly $2 million on her care.

The Verdict

Following a trial on the merits of the case the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff. The jury found that the involved medical professionals acted negligently, resulting in the preventable injuries. The family was awarded $9 million for the lifetime care she will need.

However, state law caps certain damage amounts arbitrarily, and so the family will likely receive far less than the amount awarded by the jury.

Legal Help is Available

Failure to order a timely Caesarean section is a common cause of preventable birth injuries. C-sections are not always necessary. However, our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys know that there are unfortunately many situations where medical professionals should have performed the surgical birth but did not-resulting in life-long problems for the child. If this has happened to you or someone you know, be sure to get in touch with legal professionals to learn how you may have legal recourse to receive resources to help with the child’s long-term care.

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