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Doctor error leaves baby with cerebral palsy, family wins lawsuit


When it comes to delivering a baby, medical professionals have a lot of responsibilities. Not only do they have to deliver the baby in a way that protects its health, but they must also ensure the health of the mother. A seemingly minor slipup could be tragic, causing a serious birth injury or death. In the event this happens, Oregon families should be aware of what they can do to recover their emotional, physical and financial damages.

A recently decided medical malpractice lawsuit helps provide valuable insight into the process and the extent of birth injury recoveries. In that case, a petite woman’s child became stuck during a natural birth and was deprived of oxygen. As a result, the child suffered cerebral palsy and now has difficulty talking and walking. The mother also suffered injuries that required an emergency operation.

The lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital claimed medical professionals’ failure to perform a cesarean section led to the child and mother’s injuries. The lawsuit further claimed that fetal monitoring should have made it obvious that the mother needed a C-section in order to protect the baby and the mother’s health. A jury agreed with the family and awarded them $55 million.

As evidenced by this case, a mistake in the delivery room can cause a birth injury that leads to permanent disability and the need for long-term care. A situation such as this is not only expensive, but it can be heart-wrenching for a family to watch their child struggle to perform everyday functions. In an effort to recover compensation needed to provide their child with the medical care he or she needs and to punish errant doctors, parents in these situations should consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

If the incident occurred in Oregon, then an Oregon-based attorney may be able to assist. The lawyer will analyze medical records, interview witnesses and consider applicable law in order to develop the strongest legal case possible. To win on one of these claims, negligence and causation must be shown. If a jury can be convinced, then compensation may be awarded for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. While these recoveries certainly help a family get their child the care he or she needs, it also helps deter similar negligent acts from occurring, thus protecting future patients from feeling similar heartache.

Source: The Morning Call, “Lehigh County jury awards family $55 million in medical malpractice case against St. Luke’s,” Kevin Amerman, Dec. 23, 2013