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Medical malpractice case results in additional damages

Oct 27, 2011 | Doctor Errors

New babies are born in New York every day. Many are born without incident and are able to go home with their loving parents. Unfortunately, for some newborns, they do not have the luxury of going home to grow up with their health intact. Due to the negligence of the health care personnel responsible for their wellbeing, these innocent babies are left with a lifetime of struggles.

The attorney for a 15-year old quadriplegic girl whose family sued the hospital where she was born states that, at the time of her birth, "They literally crushed the life out of that little baby." The baby was born at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, to a mother with gestational diabetes. The plaintiffs allege that the doctor who delivered her committed medical malpractice when he failed to recognize that her large size required a cesarean delivery, and instead delivered her vaginally.

The baby ended up with brain damage and a broken clavicle, and the young girl now requires around-the-clock care. The Oakland County Jury who heard the case found for the family awarded them $130 million in damages earlier this month, which could be one of the largest medical malpractice jury verdicts in Michigan, New York or elsewhere.

According to the family’s attorney, this award accounts for the cost of providing her with supervised care through 2077. The award also takes into account any wages the girl could have earned if she had not been brain damaged. The funds will be managed by a court-appointed conservator. Officials from Beaumont Hospital say they will appeal the verdict. They also say that the doctor who delivered the baby no longer works at the hospital.

Unfortunately, cases of medical malpractice are all too common. Although they don’t always involve such severe consequences, those who suffer damages as a result of a doctors’ misdiagnosis or other error deserve to be compensated for their injuries.

Source: The Detroit Free Press, "Paralyzed teen’s family wins medical malpractice suit," Megha Satyanarayana, Oct. 19, 2011