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Woman awarded $13M in birth injury lawsuit

A 38-year-woman will receive $12.9 million dollars after a jury ruled that the medical center where she delivered her baby was responsible for a disfiguring injury the child suffered during birth. The judge overseeing the case resulted in the largest civil lawsuit award he has seen in eight years as a judge. The birth injury lasted 12 days before the jury delivered a verdict. However, experts say the award will likely amount to around $4 million after a state cap on non-economic damages is applied and the other damages are decreased to their present cash value.

The civil court system allows Ohio patients and their families to seek justice after suffering injuries or death due to surgical errors, medical negligence or other forms of medical malpractice. Legal experts can inform such individuals whether they may be entitled to monetary damage compensating them for their mistreatment.

According to the lawsuit, the doctors pulled her child's head too hard after she became stuck against her mother's pelvic bone, allegedly severing a number of nerves in her arm. The plaintiff's attorney argued that the physicians should have delivered the baby via cesarean section after confirming the newborn was stuck in order to avoid injury.

The girl's injuries required several surgeries to address, though she still reportedly must wear her disfigured arm in a cast. The plaintiff's attorney added that the child will likely need substantial help performing everyday tasks and will be forced to undergo difficult therapy.

The medical center's lawyer asserted that the injuries could not have been avoided as the mother had requested a natural birth, preventing the doctors from performing emergency surgery. Court documents show that the doctors did not offer to perform a C-section, but the doctors delivered the child using natural child birth techniques and thus did not act in a negligent or wrongful manner. However, the jury ultimately disagreed.


Source: 
MLive.com, "Genesee County jury awards nearly $13 million verdict in birth trauma lawsuit against Genesys" Gary Ridley, Oct. 05, 2013

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