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Birth trauma claim leads to $15M settlement

For many Massachusetts parents, the birth of their child is the happiest day of their lives. Sadly, this is not always the case, as sometimes the error or negligence of a health care professional during the birthing process results in a lifelong struggle for care when a child suffers birth trauma. In another state, a settlement was recently reached in a lawsuit involving such alleged traumatic birth injuries.

The $15 million settlement concerned a 6-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her delivery. The birth trauma -- due to medical negligence, according to the lawsuit -- left the little girl with cerebral palsy. The suit alleged that the hospital's failure to act, despite signs of fetal distress, resulted in the child's permanent injury.

The hospital allegedly administered the laboring mother with too much Pitocin. This overdosing led to too many contractions that were too strong and too frequent, interrupting and even stopping blood flow and oxygen delivery to the infant's brain. Hospital staff then failed to perform a cesarean section in a timely manner. As a result, the child's severe brain damage means that, six years later, she is still unable to walk, talk or care for herself.

The hospital agreed to the significant settlement in the medical malpractice lawsuit. While it never technically admitted liability for the staff's negligence during birth, the family still received the funds they will sorely need to care for the girl throughout her life, as she will apparently require extensive medical treatment and therapy. Sadly, with the often-exorbitant medical costs involved in the care of children injured during birth due to professional negligence, a successful medical malpractice suit is sometimes the only way for families to get these children the treatment they need. Fortunately, there are Massachusetts attorneys who specialize in such birth trauma cases and can help families fight for the justice and compensation they need and deserve.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Sauk Village family reaches $15M settlement over alleged brain damage during delivery", Becky Yerak, July 26, 2017

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