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Family recovers $5.25 million for newborn brain injury

When a pregnant woman visits a hospital to have a baby, it is unlikely that there will be complications.  Most full term pregnancies in Massachusetts and across the country result in a healthy child. Even if a woman undergoes a C-section, modern medicine and proper doctor training have rendered this procedure to be generally safe for the mother and baby. However, when an obstetrician or other doctor makes a mistake handling a labor and delivery, the result can be catastrophic. A baby can suffer severe brain injuries that can prevent him or her from ever living a normal life.

A court recently determined that an obstetrician mishandled the delivery of a child seven years ago. Instead of performing a C-section in a timely manner, the doctor waited all night and into the next day. After thirteen hours of labor, the mother finally received an emergency C-section.  In addition to the surgical problems, the claims court said that the doctor improperly administered the labor inducing drug, Pitocin. The physician errors prevented the newborn from receiving sufficient oxygen during the birth. Today, the seven year old boy requires 24 hour care for his resulting traumatic brain injury. 

The medical malpractice case was settled when the medical center agreed to pay the family the sum of $5.25 million. Both the hospital and the child’s mother agreed that the settlement was fair, as the family will incur significant costs for the child’s long-term care. In a situation where a doctor causes harm to a family by failing to provide proper care during the birth of a baby, it is a good idea to consult with legal counsel. An experienced attorney can discuss whether a lawsuit may be appropriate to recover proper compensation.  

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Brain injury during birth costs Ohio State hospital $5.25 million,” Ben Sutherly, June 28, 2013

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