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.
After a new mother gives birth, she depends on doctors and nurses in the hospital to provide appropriate care for her newborn baby and for her own recovery. Such care must include careful monitoring of both mother and baby to make sure that both are healthy and properly recovering from the labor and delivery process. In some cases, such as when a caesarean section was performed, a mother might need antibiotics or pain medications administered. In the event that hospital staff in Massachusetts or anywhere else makes a mistake when delivering such medicine, birth injuries can result.
Parents of children born with heart defects or other life threatening illnesses are often very cautious about medicines they give their children. After undergoing countless hours in the hospital, no one in Massachusetts or anywhere else wants to unnecessarily return to a medical center due to a negative drug interaction. But that is exactly what happened to one family whose 4-year old suffered heart failure and a brain injury upon receiving improper medical advice from a doctor.
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.