NJ Shelled Out $77.7 Million in 2013 for Medical Malpractice
Numerous plaintiffs who sued New Jersey negotiated significant settlements or were awarded substantial jury verdicts in 2013. The birth injury lawsuit payouts, other medical malpractice awards, and similar lawsuits resulted in a total $77.7 million.
This represents an increase of almost $29 million from the previous year. Although some public policy advocates claim that this substantial settlement sum is a prime example of government waste, medical negligence is no laughing matter. In fact, it’s the third leading cause of death in the U.S. – behind only heart disease and cancer.
Millions paid out to birth injury plaintiffs
A considerable portion of the millions paid out to NJ plaintiffs in 2013 went to the families of the littlest victims – those who suffer from birth injuries as a result of medical negligence. Birth injuries may occur when medical professionals fail to recognize the signs of fetal distress, delay emergency C-sections, fail to monitor the mother and fetus properly, or use equipment inappropriately. Some of the birth injury payouts from lawsuits in 2013 include the following:
- $7.5 million resulting from a lawsuit filed in 2010 that claimed the medical negligence of doctors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital led to brain injury and other permanent medical problems for an infant boy.
- $5 million as a result of a 2012 lawsuit filed against University Hospital that claimed an infant boy received inadequate treatment following birth. The child suffers from pain and unspecified injuries.
- $5 million was awarded to the family of a boy who allegedly received inadequate treatment in 2007 at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Their 2008 lawsuit noted the boy suffers from “severe, permanent, painful and disabling injuries.”
- $3.5 million went to the mother of an infant boy who received allegedly inadequate care at John F. Kennedy Medical Center, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Hospital. The boy’s birth injuries led to a diagnosis of brain damage, cerebral palsy, physical disability, and other injuries.
- $2.58 million was the resolution reached in a lawsuit filed by the mother of a girl who allegedly received inadequate care at St. Barnabas Medical Center. The child was also under the care of a resident who was affiliated with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Although the lawsuit was filed in 2007, the alleged medical negligence occurred in 1992 – a 22-year-long wait for justice.
Birth injury payouts ensure proper care
When a child is diagnosed with a birth injury, the family can expect a long, difficult journey of navigating medical treatments, surgeries, and battles with the insurance companies. Birth injuries can result in a range of mild to severe medical complications, such as permanent brain injury, muscle paralysis, speech impairment, and much more. Children often require lifelong care and ongoing therapy with specialists such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists.