A family in Virginia is currently waiting for a resolution to their legal problems with the hospital where their son was born in 2010.
The child’s birth occurred in 2010, and the parents filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in 2012 which stated that the staff who attended the birth delayed unnecessarily in notifying the obstetrician who had been caring for mother during the high risk pregnancy.
The mother delivered the baby following an emergency C-section. It was later discovered the child had suffered from a deprivation of oxygen which caused permanent brain damage and led to cerebral palsy.
Although the parties had agreed on a preliminary settlement last year, it was necessary for the Department of Justice to approve the amount and terms because it had occurred in a government funded hospital. The DOJ denied the first offer in January, but a cash settlement of $9 million was recently approved by a federal judge and will be presented to DOJ again. It is currently unknown how long the associate attorney general will take to come to a decision about the lawsuit settlement.
Allegations of the Lawsuit
The settlement that the DOJ rejected called for an immediate settlement of $5 million, with another $4 million to be distributed in periodic increments over the lifetime of the child. Defense lawyers have stated that they will not vacate their upcoming trial date. They have additionally stated that if there is another delay in approval of the settlement, the costs will increase.
According to the lawsuit, medical negligence occurred at the time the child was delivered which caused permanent brain damage and caused developmental delays which require 24-hour care. The lawsuit states that health care providers did not promptly respond to signs that indicated the mother experienced a uterine rupture when she came into the hospital at 35 weeks complaining of severe pain. It is also alleged that they failed to notify the patient’s OB/GYN in a timely manner. By the time doctors gave the order and performed an emergency C-section, the damage was already done.
Cerebral Palsy: Expenses Throughout a Lifetime
There can be a substantial number of health issues in children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The problems associated with cerebral palsy can range from something as minor as slight palsy in one arm or leg to total loss of all motor control with a serious intellectual disability that requires round the clock care. Children with cerebral palsy may also suffer from vision and hearing problems, cognitive delays, problems with speech and learning, and various other issues.
The severity of the condition generally determines the type of care they need. For some it may be a combination of physical, vocational, and speech therapy. For others it may mean the addition of medications, special equipment, and possibly even surgery. Hospital and other medical costs can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Unlike diseases such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy is a birth injury caused by damage to the brain during pregnancy, during labor, or shortly after delivery. Sometimes the injuries are accidental and unpreventable, but in many cases, they are the result of medical negligence.
Parents of a child with CP should always discuss the facts of their case with a birth injury attorney in order to investigate the cause of their child’s cerebral palsy. If it turns out that the malpractice of a doctor or medical professional is to blame, we can help your family recover the compensation you’re owed.
For a free consultation with one of our cerebral palsy lawyers, call our office (toll-free) at 1-855-833-3707.