Jury Delivers Nearly $100M To Brain-Damaged Child
Birth injury lawsuits are among the largest verdicts you’ll see issued by a jury. For this reason, many states have stepped in to handle birth injury cases outside of the system of torts. Florida famously has a birth injury system that is the ire of many families in the state and prevents these families from filing lawsuits against doctors who cause severe injury to their neonatal patients. Georgia has no such birth injury system and hence, families can file medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors who cause severe injury to children during delivery.
Similarly, Iowa allows birth injury lawsuits to go before juries and one such lawsuit resulted in the largest medical malpractice settlement ever delivered by an Iowa jury. Below, we’ll discuss what happened.
Birth injuries during difficult births
In some cases, birth will be difficult because the birth canal is too small. In those cases, a Cesarean section would be indicated. In this case, the doctor was faulted for attempting to deliver the baby naturally and then causing brain damage and skull fractures when attempting to remove the baby with forceps. When the forceps failed, the doctor then tried a vacuum extractor which should never be employed after forceps had failed.
As a result of this choice, the baby suffered significant brain damage and will now require 24-hour care for the rest of their life. The baby will never be able to lead a normal life, is unlikely to be able to sustain employment or care for themselves, and may never be able to speak. In other words, the child’s future has been taken away from them and their family has incurred significant expenses to care for the child.
The hospital and doctor noted that they were disappointed with the verdict and are investigating their legal options for appeal.
Understanding the defense
Medical procedures are sort of like baking. You have to follow the recipe or it won’t turn out right. Cooking is different. You can add a little bit of this or a little bit of that to get the flavor just right. To formulate a theory of negligence against the defendant, the plaintiff had to specify that the correct choice would have been to pursue a C-section and not deliver the child naturally. The child was delivered naturally and severely injured in the process. So, we already have one form of negligence. The doctor could have said that the risk of a C-section to the mother was greater than the risk of injury to the child during a natural birth and on that basis, decided to go ahead with a natural birth.
Talk to an Atlanta, GA Medical Malpractice Attorney
The Moses Law Firm handles medical malpractice lawsuits filed by injured patients against negligent medical caregivers. Call our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.