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Family wins lawsuit after fatal medical mistake claims daughter


The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion. Yet, the birthing process is a fragile one, especially when a child is born prematurely. Medical professionals must rely on their education, training and experience to ensure these babies are treated safely and effectively. Sometimes, though, a medical mistake is made that can leave a newborn seriously injured or dead.

Sadly, one of these instances occurred recently, leaving an infant girl deceased. The child was and 34 weeks and was healthy at birth. In order to feed the baby, a nurse practitioner inserted a catheter into the child's umbilical cord. Though X-rays taken shortly after insertion showed the catheter's tip was in the child's heart, her doctor failed to notice and correct the mistake. As a result, fluid built up around the child's hearth, sending her into cardiac arrest. The newborn died a mere three days after her birth.

The child's parents filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the now deceased doctor's estate and the hospital at which he worked. A jury agreed with the parents that the doctor was negligent and his negligence contributed to the child's death. The jury did not, however, determine the doctor's negligence was the direct cause of the victim's death. The family was awarded $1.25 million for their damages.

When a family is faced with the loss of a loved one, they may struggle with the emotional impact. In addition to having to cope with the reality of never being able to hear their loved one's voice again, these families also have to deal with the financial realities of their situation. Medical bills and funeral costs must be paid, and a deceased's lost wages may leave the family struggling to pay for housing and food. When this is the case, an Oregon attorney may be able to help a family file a wrongful death lawsuit in an attempt to recover the compensation it needs to get back on its feet and move on in remembrance of its lost loved one.

Source: MLive.com, "Grand Rapids couple awarded $1.25 million in malpractice suit after infant daughter's death," Heidi Fenton, March 27, 2014

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