Birth injuries can turn any expectant parent’s dream of welcoming a new child into the world into an all-out nightmare. All too often, negligence that occurs during labor, delivery or immediately following delivery causes permanent damage to fragile newborns.
When birth injuries do occur, hospitals and doctors can often be sued for damages. In a recent example of this, a hospital in the Midwest settled a birth injury lawsuit for $5.25 million. The lawsuit was filed against Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center by the parents of a child who was born with brain damage in 2006.
According to the lawsuit, the mother was addmitted to the hospital on the afternoon of April 28, 2006 while in the initial stages of labor. The child was born the next morning via emergency cesarean section, but the lawsuit charges that the emergency c-section should have been ordered much sooner.
The Ohio Court of Claims agreed that the obstetritican overseeing the birth failed to properly manage the labor and took too long to order an emergency c-section, which caused the child to suffer brain injuries. The court was also swayed by testimony provided by two expert witnesses who said that the drug Pitocin was administered erroneously during the labor.
An attorney for the family said the child, who is now 7-years-old, suffered a “profound brain injury” and requires care around the clock. The child’s mother said that she is pleased with the settlement and believes that justice was served. The obestrician at issue in the case has since retired from practice and declined to comment on the case.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Brain injury during birth costs Ohio State hospital $5.25 million,” Ben Sutherly, June 28, 2013