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Damages awarded in medical malpractice birth injury case

Giving birth to a child should be something that fills an expectant mother with anticipation and joy. Although most children are born healthy, while protecting the mother’s safety and well-being, there are times when errors are made that result in serious harm to the child, the child’s mother or both. A birth injury can have significant ramifications for a child, too, as illustrated by one medical malpractice lawsuit that was won by a Michigan family.

There, a family sued a doctor, nurse and the hospital where their child was born for failing to act reasonably during the birthing process. According to the lawsuit, medical professionals neglected to order a C-section in a timely manner and instead utilized the labor-inducing drug Pitocin, which caused the child to be deprived of oxygen. This deprivation, in turn, caused permanent brain damage to the child, who now suffers from cerebral palsy.

The lawsuit claimed medical professionals failed to heed the warnings of a heart monitor that showed the baby’s heartrate decreasing, which is a sign of lack of oxygen. The jury found in the family’s favor and awarded them more than $50 million in damages.

These damages will hopefully go a long way toward helping this family obtain the life-long medical care it will need. The child who was the subject of the lawsuit is now nine-years-old, yet he only knows 30 words, and he is consistently participating in speech, occupational and physical therapy. He suffers from decreased motor skills and hearing, and he has difficulty walking. The child will likely be unable to work when he gets older, and he will also probably need medical assistance for the rest of his life.

As this case highlights, the damages associated with medical malpractice, especially birth injuries, can be quite significant. Those affected by a birth injury caused by medical negligence cannot afford not to take legal action. When they do so, though, instead of accepting a tempting settlement made by a hospital, these families should work closely with an experienced attorney who will help them fight for the truth value of their claim.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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