When people in Massachusetts have to wait to receive money they are entitled to, time can seem to be passing at an agonizingly slow pace. For one teenage boy and his family in Colorado, the wait to receive money they needed to pay for medical expenses is finally over. Their struggle began back in 1997, when the boy was born at a hospital in Florida. Due to the actions of negligent nurses, he was injured during birth. As a result, the boy requires ongoing medical care around the clock for the rest of his life. A lawsuit was filed, and in 2007, a jury awarded the boy’s family almost $31 million in damages for the negligent actions that caused his brain injury. However, the boy’s family did not receive any of the money they were due until recently. This is because the private hospital where he was born had been taken over by the government, so it had sovereign immunity. The law in Florida blocks people from collecting judgments from government-run hospitals if the judgment is more than $200,000 unless the state legislature approves it. The family’s attorney negotiated with lawmakers in order to reach a settlement. The boy, who now lives near Canon City, Colorado, received $10 million as a lump sum and will receive $1 million a year for the next five years.
Thankfully, not all birth injury cases take this long to get resolved. If your infant requires long-term care because of a birth injury, you might want to consider contacting an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice to learn all of your options.
Source: ABC 7 News, “Colorado teen Aaron Edwards, disabled at birth, finally gets needed equipment,” Deb Stanley and Jennifer Castor, Nov. 29, 2013