A jury awarded $101 million in a recent birth injury case, but an agreement between the parties reduced the amount to $50 million. The case, which was brought in Illinois, was against the West Suburban Medical Center in the greater Chicago area.
The details are tragic. According to the Associated Press, during a 2014 birth a healthcare team didn’t respond to ultrasound tests showing that an unborn child had not moved for six hours. The mother also complained that she hadn’t felt the baby move, but the hospital apparently ignored her.
During the trial, experts testified that a timely caesarian section would have prevented the baby from being injured.
The delay in his birth cost the boy dearly. His brain was damaged, presumably from lack of oxygen during the birth. Now 5, he can’t sit up, walk or speak.
“To see this young child now suffer every minute of every day when he should be playing on a playground in kindergarten is a terrible thing,” said the family’s attorney.
The family’s agreement to cap damages at $50 million was in exchange for the former owner of the hospital, Tenet Healthcare, agreeing not to appeal the verdict. The company stated that it believes the care provided was appropriate under the circumstances.
West Suburban Medical Center has been sold to a different owner since the 2014 birth.
Birth injuries can be the result of medical malpractice
Unfortunately, it’s relatively common for doctors and medical staff to delay a C-section even when a child is in danger of oxygen deprivation. This can be a mistake in good faith, or it can be medical malpractice.
If you believe your child’s birth injury could have been prevented by performing a C-section or another procedure, you should discuss your situation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney for an evaluation of whether you have an actionable case.