A jury recently awarded a family more than $21 million after finding that the nursing staff was 100 percent liable for failing to properly monitor the fetal heart rate. Now the young boy suffers from cerebral palsy. He cannot speak and is fed through a feeding tube. The funds will be needed to pay for round-the-clock medical care that he may need for the rest of his life.
The mother was giving birth to twins the first child, a little girl, was born healthy. But when it was time for the boy to be born he was in a breach position and complications began to arise and he was eventually born via c-section. Unfortunately the procedure was not initiated in time to safely birth the baby before oxygen deprivation caused serious damage.
The jury deliberated for about four hours before determining that neither the obstetrician nor the midwife was liable. The jury found instead that the nursing staff was solely responsible for the errors that led to the birth injury.
The central argument in the case turned out to be what the level of damage should be. The hospital argued that the child was not likely to live through 2081, the year through which the award is designed to pay damages. The majority of the award will be paid through an annuity to provide for his ongoing medical expenses. The other portion will cover past medical expenses and for lost earning capacity of the now four-year-old boy.
Source: Westport News "Mom wins up to $21.6M in botched birth from Hamot" April 21, 2011