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Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit Ends in $9 Million Settlement

Birth Injury MalpracticeParties came to an agreement late last month in what amounts to the largest birth injury malpractice settlement ever involving the University of California Regents. The out-of-court settlement gives $9 million to the parents of a toddler who suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the botched birth that occurred at the UC Davis Medical Center in mid-2011, according to Fox 40.

C-Section birth injury lawsuit settlement

Both Sacramento Superior Court judge Shelleyanne Chang and the University of California Regents approved the birth injury lawsuit settlement agreement. Pursuant to California law, damages awarded for “pain and suffering” are capped at $250,000. Thus, the majority of the settlement will go toward long-term medical care for the injured child, who suffers from feeding problems and is not expected to ever be able to walk, talk, or live independently. The money will be dispersed through a life-time annuity.

“Nobody walks out of here…rich, buying new cars or anything like that,” the mother’s attorney told Fox 40. The child’s family hopes the birth injury malpractice settlement – which can cover the cost of the child’s expensive medical therapy – will provide the little girl with the best quality of life possible. Her father quit his job to provide the round-the-clock care the child requires.

Birth injury malpractice allegations

The parties disagree about exactly what transpired at the time of the child’s birth. The mother alleges she labored for 7 hours while the baby showed signs of fetal distress and experienced a drop in heart rate that caused the child to go without oxygen,  but doctors did not take necessary actions to prevent a birth injury – like performing a Cesarean section.  The mother told CBS – Sacramento that her child was born “blue” and “lifeless.” She remained in the hospital for about a month after her birth.

“I still don’t know to this day when doctors made the decision to not perform the C-section,” the child’s mother told CBS -Sacramento. The doctors reportedly maintained that the mother voiced strong opposition to the Cesarean procedure, but the mother claims she had provided written consent to the surgery in case the need arose.

Calling her child’s birth injury “devastating” and a “nightmare,” the mother told the Fox 40 news station she did not appreciate what she believes was an attempt to blame her for the doctors’ alleged malpractice.

After the settlement was announced, the hospital released a statement. “This case is devastating for everyone involved, especially for the parents and child.  We share their sorrow.  In the best interests of all parties, we reached a settlement agreement.”

The parents of the 20-month-old girl had originally asked the court to award $15 million, but told the news station they agreed to a settlement in order to move on with their lives. The couple welcomed a new baby to their family this year, a healthy girl who was not born at the same hospital as her sister.