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Delayed care during labor caused child’s severe birth injuries

A terribly botched delivery that led to the baby being born with severe brain damage has led to a $33.5 million verdict in favor of the child’s parents. Parents in Joliet may be interested to know of this example of a doctor and medical facility being held responsible for birth injuries that have lifelong consequences.

It appears that the boy’s mother was experiencing a complicated pregnancy because she went to a doctor at the defendant medical group’s high risk obstetrical clinic in April 2005. The obstetrician who examined her found signs of fetal distress and told her to go to the hospital immediately to have the baby to minimize the risk of his suffering serious injuries.

Despite this urgent order, when the mother arrived doctors there did not quickly move to perform a cesarean section or other emergency action. Indeed, it was more than six hours until the child was finally delivered by C-section. Doctors decided to wait and schedule the surgery for the afternoon for unknown reasons.

The boy was born with severe brain damage due to trauma experienced during the delay. He survived but lives with spastic quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that limits his ability to use his limbs and control bodily functions, as well as cognitive impairment. His family says that his disabilities could have been avoided if doctors had acted as little as 15 minutes sooner.

They filed a medical malpractice suit against the hospital and the jury recently found in their favor. Jurors ordered the facility to pay $33.5 million in damages to pay for the boy’s past and future care.

Source: The Herald, “Memphis Jury Awards $33.5 Million For Boy’s Birth Injuries that Caused Cerebral Palsy,” July 17, 2013


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