It’s a sad reality that millions of Americans today live in poverty. Difficult economic times coupled with a job loss or chronic medical condition can quickly result in a family being forced out onto the street. Regardless of economic or social status, these individuals still require and are entitled to receive medical care.
A formerly homeless woman recently won a $7.5 million dollar medical malpractice settlement against a hospital related to a severe brain injury her infant child suffered. According to court documents, the woman, who was 39 weeks pregnant, was living at a homeless shelter with her two other young children. She was taken via ambulance to the hospital after experiencing severe stomach pains.
The woman was discharged and returned to the homeless shelter after being at the hospital for 14 hours. During that time, however, she was never examined by an obstetrician. A few hours after leaving the hospital, she suffered a ruptured uterus and doctors were forced to perform an emergency cesarean section.
Due to the woman’s undiagnosed medical condition, the baby was born with severe brain injury. He is currently living at a long-term care facility where he requires round-the-clock medical assistance and care.
The mother subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital contending her baby’s condition resulted from the hospital’s negligence in failing to diagnose and treat her medical condition. As a result, her son suffered severe brain damage and will require extensive medical treatments and care for the rest of his life.
The $7.5 million dollar settlement will be used to provide for the child’s future medical expenses. Additionally, a portion of the settlement will be used to pay for a home in which the baby will be able to live with mother and siblings.
Source: The Los Angeles Times, “L.A. County to pay $7.5 million in childbirth malpractice case,” Abby Sewell, Nov. 6, 2013