Birth injury award ruling: What will it mean for Illinois cases?

Any Illinois family who has been through the horror of a medical error knows how difficult the repercussions can be. Though a favorable settlement or judgment against the negligent medical provider does provide much needed financial relief, the legal process can be complicated.

One family has spent many years seeking justice for their daughter who suffered a serious birth injury. With the recent addition of their case to the United State Supreme Court’s docket, the family may finally get the full measure of justice they deserve.

In 2000, the family at the center of this case brought a baby girl into the world. Unfortunately, her mother’s cesarean section did not go as planned. The birth injury resulted in significant developmental and cognitive damage, which has left the young girl unable to walk, sit or talk to this day. The girl’s ongoing medical concerns require daily professional in-home care, which will result in significant long-term costs for the family.

Though the family received a $2.8 million settlement in 2006, they are contesting the fact that their state’s government took one-third of their settlement to recoup some of their daughter’s medical costs covered by the Medicaid system. Designating a portion of medical malpractice settlements to go to the Medicaid program is a common practice, but the family believes their state’s policy is too broad-reaching.

After a federal circuit court ruled that the state’s law was in conflict with a federal statute, the country’s top court was the only logical place to settle this important legal dispute. The court’s ruling will ultimately affect those in Illinois pursuing medical malpractice claims.

A doctor’s error at birth can result in a lifetime of suffering and medical expenses. As such, it’s important for those affected to be compensated adequately, so they can provide the care necessary to keep their loved one as healthy as possible. The hope is that the top court’s ruling will strengthen patients’ ability to seek justice in the aftermath of medical negligence.

Source: Charlotte Observer, “N.C. malpractice settlement to go before justices,” Michael Doyle, Sept. 26, 2012

  • Our firm has experience assisting Illinois families harmed by pregnancy-related medical malpractice. To learn more, please see our Will County birth injury page.

Birth Injuries


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At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, we represent Illinois clients in Chicago and throughout Cook County, including the cities of Cicero, Elgin, Schaumburg, Oak Park, Maywood, Berwyn, Elmhurst, Evanston, Skokie, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Palatine and Hoffman Estates. We also help clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County and Winnebago County. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Illinois, CHH Law is the law firm with attorneys that can help.

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