Jury awards $144 million for care of child injured during birth

The birth of a child is often one of the most joyful moments of a parent’s life. However, without proper medical care and attention, the birth of a child could go horribly wrong and cause permanent injury.

Recently, a jury awarded $144 million in a lawsuit against a hospital and doctor for a birth injury that resulted in a child suffering from brain damage. The lawsuit asserted that the doctor’s error caused injuries so severe that the child, now 15, will require lifetime care.

The lawsuit, filed in 2006 by the parents of the child, contended that negligence from the hospital and delivering doctor caused the child to experience brain trauma at birth. The lawsuit stated that the doctor should have performed a Caesarean section when the mother was in labor due to the size of the child

Instead, the woman gave birth vaginally, but the baby was severely injured after being forced through the birth canal. The 10-pound, 12-ounce girl suffered hemorrhaging, a fractured clavicle and brain damage. The attorney for the family claimed that the child’s injuries from birth were the worst he has seen due to negligence in the state of Michigan.

However, the hospital argued that the child was not injured during birth. The hospital claimed that the child had already been disabled due to a genetic condition.

After a three-week trial, the jury deliberated for three days until reaching its decision last week. The jury agreed to award $144 million in the case. The damages will help to pay for 77 years of 24-hour care for the child. In response to the jury’s award, the family attorney commented, “It’s not about getting rich. It’s helping a poor baby who didn’t ask for this.”

Source: The Detroit News, “Tearful mother grateful for $144M award in Beaumont birth trauma suit,” Christine Ferretti and Mike Martindale, Oct. 19, 2011

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