Birth Injury Lawsuit
Statistics show there are approximately 7 birth injuries out of every 1,000 births in America. This amounts to 28,000 annual birth injuries – or 76 per day. A third of these injuries were preventable with the right medical care. These injuries range from minor bruises and lacerations that will heal in time, to cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries that can afflict a child for his or her entire life.
No one wants to take their story of heartache to the courts, but mounting medical bills and frustration often bring parents to the difficult conclusion that they must pursue justice through the filing of a birth injury lawsuit.
When you contact the law offices of Eisbrouch Marsh regarding your child’s injury, our medical malpractice attorneys will conduct a careful investigation to accurately determine if medical errors or substandard care was the underlying cause. We understand the emotional and economic burdens placed on parents and are devoted to helping your family receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
Common birth injuries
Any number of birth injuries may form the basis of lawsuit for which compensation may be awarded. Compensation takes the form of either a settlement or a jury award.
Some of the more common injuries alleged in birth injury lawsuits include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Bone fractures
- Facial paralysis
- Brain damage
- Brain bleeding (cephalohematoma)
- Scalp swelling (caput succedaneum)
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Lacerations and bruising
- Nerve injury
- Spinal cord injury due to overstretching
- Brachial plexus injury/ Erb’s Palsy
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
Causes of birth injuries
Sometimes babies are born with an injury and no one is to blame. Other times, medical mistakes can lead to catastrophic consequences. For instance:
- Fractured collar bones may occur when the doctor does not pay enough attention to the baby’s position or exerts too much force during extraction.
- The improper use of forceps can put too much pressure on a baby’s face or arm, causing paralysis.
- Exceptionally large babies should be delivered by C-section, rather than precariously squeezed through the birth canal, which can lead to shoulder dystocia and Erb’s palsy.
- Unrecognized maternal infection or fetal oxygen deprivation during delivery can cause a baby to suffer hypoxic or anoxic brain injury, leading to brain damage.
- Delivering babies who are in the breech position can lead to a number of complications, ranging from shoulder dystocia and umbilical cord oxygen deprivation, to brachial plexus injuries and spinal cord injury.
Recent verdicts in birth injury lawsuits
Juries are often sympathetic to victims of medical malpractice, particularly when the victim is as innocent as a newborn baby. As a result, birth injury trials often result in multi-million dollar jury awards. Defense of those who commit the alleged malpractice often rests on a theory that liability cannot be proven.
Juries have awarded significant compensation in recent years:
- In 2009, Bellevue Maternity Hospital in Saratoga County, NY was ordered to pay $43.5 million to a 24-year-old who argued that her cerebral palsy occurred as a result of oxygen deprivation for 10 to 15 minutes during her birth in 1984. Hospital staff members were charged with failing to properly resuscitate the girl. She was compensated $20 million for home health aides, $15 million for future pain and suffering, $6 million for past pain and suffering and the remaining balance for the loss of earnings.
- In 2011, a Connecticut family received $58 million when a doctor at Maternal Fetal Care in Stamford delayed a C-section that led to their son’s birth with a severe form of cerebral palsy.
- A Memphis, Tennessee jury awarded a family $33.5 million to cover past and future expenses after it was discovered that Gary Lipscomb MD delayed a necessary C-section, causing brain damage and cerebral palsy in the newborn.
- MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio paid $8.5 million to a family after it was found the attending nurse failed to notify neonatal resuscitation experts that the baby was not breathing. The mother was not aware that she had contracted a placental infection. The child, who is now three years old, has to be fed with a tube each day and will never be able to lead a normal life.
- A Pennsylvania jury awarded $78.5 million in a birth injury lawsuit filed against Pottsdown Memorial Medical Center, alleging that doctor error caused the child’s brain damage. Doctors detected a placental abruption and mistakenly declared the fetus dead in the womb. Yet, the equipment used for the ultrasound was dated and poorly maintained. Eighty-one minutes later, the obstetrician realized the baby was, in fact, alive. At that point, a C-section was performed, but it was already too late.
Filing a birth injury lawsuit
Through our many years of practice, the birth injury lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh have met many new parents who all share the same story. They were so excited about their little bundles of joy that had developed normally through the duration of the pregnancy. Then, when the big day arrived, they were informed an “unexpected complication” arose, but assured that their babies would be fine. Once they got home and settled into their new roles as parents, they arrived at the painful realization that everything was not alright. Often, it can take years to discover that a birth injury is impeding a child’s normal development.
We will help you determine if negligence played a contributing role in your child’s condition and file a birth injury lawsuit on your behalf in the event of medical malpractice. Call 1-855-60-BIRTH — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Legal consultations are free and there is never a fee unless compensation is awarded.
- Right Diagnosis – Birth Injury Statistics http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/b/birth_injury/stats.htm
- NBC – Jury Awards $58 Million in Malpractice Suit http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Jury-Awards-58-Million-in-Malpractice-Suit-122605689.html
- Norfolk Legal Examiner – Severe Birth Injury Nets $8.5 Million Award http://norfolk.legalexaminer.com/medical-malpractice/severe-birth-injury-nets-8-5-million-award/
- News 4 JAX – How Medical Malpractice Leads To Birth Injuries http://www.news4jax.com/health/How-medical-malpractice-leads-to-birth-injuries/-/475590/7790490/-/anv3d5/-/index.html
- Times Union – Birth Injury Case Costs Ex-Hospital $43.5 Million http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Birth-injury-case-costs-ex-hospital-43-5M-549782.php