Recently, an appeals court upheld a $20.6 million jury verdict in a birth injury lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed following several delivery room errors and missteps, as alleged by the parents of the child. Where physicians, nurses, or other hospital staff act negligently and harm occurs, the health care professionals may be found liable for medical malpractice and required to pay damages.
In this instance, the plaintiffs alleged several specific errors and omissions where the medical personnel involved failed to act with the requisite standard of care, and asserted that these failures led to the birth injury suffered by the child.
For example, the mother was admitted to the hospital when she was 32 weeks pregnant. Both she and the fetus had a history of high blood pressure, and a result, hospital staff decided to induce her with Pitocin. While Pitocin can be used safely to induce labor, complications can arise.
In this instance, the infant started to show signs of fetal distress. However, the doctor in charge of the delivery failed to take immediate action. Instead he allowed the labor to continue for an additional three hours. When the baby was ultimately delivered, its umbilical cord was wrapped around its neck, according to the plaintiff. If the doctor had performed an emergency C-section, it may have been possible to reduce or limit the extent of the harm cause due to the lack of oxygen suffered by the child.
Unfortunately, according to evidence presented at trial, the baby suffered brain damage as a result of the lack of oxygen and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a permanent neurological disorder often linked to brain damage that occurs during pregnancy or shortly after birth.
The verdict will help defray the costs of a lifetime of medical bills and therapy.
For more information, or if you believe that your child suffered a birth injury as the result of a medical error at birth, please contact the experienced Los Angeles birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate, confidential, consultation.