Birth Injury Settlements
About seven out of 1,000 babies are born with a birth injury in the United States. Sometimes birth injuries are unavoidable, but in many unfortunate cases the harm suffered by a newborn during delivery is the result of negligence on the part of medical care professionals who fail to follow proper protocols. Eisbrouch Marsh’s team of birth injury lawyers are committed to holding those caregivers liable for harm that should have been avoided.
Our experience has shown that juries tend to sympathize with families of injured children when the evidence suggests that a medical facility’s standards of care have been breached. In these cases, victims of birth injury malpractice may be entitled to substantial compensation—either through settlements or jury verdicts—to pay for the child’s pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life, as well as a lifetime’s worth of medical bills and other expenses.
Birth injuries include brachial plexus injury, cerebral palsy, bone fractures, brain bleeding, bruising, asphyxia, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and more.
Recent Birth Injury Settlements & Jury Awards
- Burlington, Iowa family receives $5.5 million jury award: A 6-year-old girl and her family received a large jury award for shoulder dystocia and arm impairment suffered during birth. According to court documents, the physicians and medical facility failed to take appropriate actions to prevent permanent injury.
- Kansas family receives $4.72 million settlement: A baby born with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy from prolonged oxygen deprivation during birth resulted in a large payout from Salina Regional Health Center. Court records show the doctor waited five hours to do the emergency c-section, did not notice the umbilical cord compression and failed to detect signs of fetal distress.
- Massachusetts family settles outside court for $5 million: A mother-to-be was left in the care of an inexperienced student who failed to detect signs of fetal distress during her 33-34 week checkup. The following day, the mother was forced to wait more than four hours before being transferred to a hospital where she could deliver the child. He was born prematurely – limp and barely breathing. Though he was resuscitated, he cannot sit, stand, use his limbs, swallow foods or communicate. Now 11, the boy suffers severe developmental delays, seizures and disability.
- New York family receives $100 million jury award: Medical negligence at St. Vincent’s Medical Center on Staten Island caused one twin baby to suffer cerebral palsy. Staff members failed to recognize the mother’s contractions or listen to her complaints – instead, feeding her Benadryl and telling her to go home. The courts ruled that the medical staff acted negligently in this case, which led to the largest birth injury settlement in Staten Island history.
- Flint, Michigan woman receives $13 million jury award: A Flint mother won a $13 million lawsuit against Genesys Regional Medical Center after mistakes made during childbirth left her daughter disfigured and unable to use her right arm. According to the birth injury lawsuit, the girl’s arm was severed when doctors pulled down too hard on the baby’s head trying to wrench her around the pelvic bone.
- Pennsylvania mother receives a $4 million jury award: A women’s labor was stalled for nearly eight hours while her doctor continued to pursue a vaginal delivery, despite the fact that ultrasounds showed the baby weighed 10 pounds. When the woman became too tired to push, the doctor used forceps to deliver the oxygen-deprived baby whose shoulder was caught on the mother’s pelvis.
- Massachusetts family wins $23.8 million jury award: Plaintiffs received a large jury award after their baby was born with large bruises on her head, brain bleeding and cerebral palsy when medical professional waited too long to provide emergency care. After giving the mother labor-inducing drugs, they ended up using a vacuum extractor to deliver the baby girl by force, rather than recommending a necessary c-section delivery.
How birth injury compensation Is determined
Plaintiffs may recover anywhere from $25,000 to $25 million for birth injury settlements and/or jury awards, depending on the severity and circumstances surrounding the case.
To determine the amount of birth injury compensation, a jury will consider:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Past and future medical expenses
- Cost of ongoing care, including medications, physical therapy and nursing staff
- Lost earning potential and loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress, pain and suffering
- Lawyer fees and associated costs
No one can tell for sure how much a birth injury will end up costing a family over the course of the child’s lifetime. However, a medical malpractice attorney will consult with medical professionals to determine fair compensation to the best of their ability. They can look at the existing data to predict future surgeries, medication costs and developmental challenges the child is likely to face.
No amount of money can ever erase the damage that’s been done, but families can do their best to provide a normal life for their children by seeking a settlement or verdict.
How Can Birth Injury Lawyers Help?
Eisbrouch Marsh brings more than 45 years of experience successfully securing large settlements and awards for victims of birth injury malpractice. Cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning that no lawyer fees are paid unless you win your case. To avoid the statute of limitation running out, families are encouraged to call for a free consultation right away.
- Right Diagnosis, Statistics About Birth Injury, http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/b/birth_injury/stats.htm
- Michigan Live, Genesee County jury awards nearly $13 million verdict in birth trauma lawsuit against Genesys, http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2013/10/jury_awards_nearly_13_million
- National Institutes of Health, Birth trauma: incidence and predisposing factors, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6728359