A Michigan jury has awarded $144 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a woman who alleged that negligence by her doctors left her baby with severe brain damage and in need of long-term care. Medical malpractice attorneys in Atlanta and elsewhere recognize the potential for sizable injury awards in all cases in which an infant suffers brain damage during birth. However, this is one of the largest medical malpractice awards in this settling.
The verdict came out this week against the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.It was here that the woman had been admitted for delivery in 2006.According to the lawsuit, the hospital as well as the doctor in charge of the delivery was negligent in failing to perform a cesarean section on the woman.The baby, a 10 lbs. 12 oz. girl was instead pushed through the birth canal.As a result, the baby suffered a fractured clavicle and began hemorrhaging severely.The baby was ultimately left with severe brain injuries and in need of long-term care.
The hospital and the doctor have said that they will appeal the verdict.The hospital alleged that the child’s injuries were the result of a genetic condition, and not due to negligence by the doctor or the hospital.However, an eight-member jury has now found in favor of the woman, and has found the hospital negligent.
Brain injuries are some of the most severe birth injuries that can result from medical negligence.A baby can suffer birth asphyxia before, during or soon after the birth.This is a condition that results in a block of oxygen supply to the baby’s brain.It occurs due to a number of reasons, including an increase in the blood pressure of the mother, and other complications.As a result of birth asphyxia, children can develop cerebral palsy.This is a condition in which there is a lack of coordination in motor skills, mental retardation and a number of other complications.Doctors need to monitor maternal health at all times during the delivery, and act immediately to prevent long-term damage when complications arise.
Besides maternal complications, doctors must also be able to monitor the health of the baby, and step in during an emergency.For instance, doctors must be able to gauge the size of the infant, and make a decision about whether to proceed with a vaginal delivery or an emergency C-section.Other factors that can affect the decision to go ahead with a vaginal delivery can include disproportion, an exceedingly difficult labor or the position of the infant.When it becomes apparent that the infant or the mother are not getting enough oxygen, doctors must make efforts to get oxygen supply going as quickly as possible to prevent long-term damage.
Even a moderate block in oxygen supply to a baby’s brain can cause brain damage that can be serious enough to lead to long-term mental harm.Brain injuries at birth can lead to conditions like cerebral palsy, and development delays.
The Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons who have been injured due to medical negligence in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.