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Hospital to pay $9M for botching delivery of high-risk pregnancy

Parents of a severely disabled boy with cerebral palsy are expected to recover $9 million after settling their lawsuit against the hospital where he was born.

The mother was considered a high-risk pregnancy because she had a history of miscarriages and a difficult birth of her first child. She had partnered with her obstetrician to closely manage her pregnancy, but it seems like all their efforts fell by the wayside when she checked into the hospital.

The woman was 35 weeks pregnant when she arrived at the hospital with severe lower abdominal pains. Hospital staff failed to urgently notify and communicate with her obstetrician. Regardless, her symptoms indicated a potential uterine rupture but the hospital failed to act prudently and delayed a c-section.

Doctors eventually performed a cesarean section but it was too late: the infant had suffered brain damage and will live the rest of his life with a severe case of cerebral palsy.

Most lawsuit settlements are confidential, but the proposed $9 million figure is public because the defendant is a military hospital. Out-of-court birth injury settlements are much more common than one would think because they almost always contain a confidentiality clause and no admission of liability.

Source: Insurance Journal, "$9M Settlement For Boy's Cerebral Palsy From Hawaii Hospital," Jan. 30, 2014

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