A few weeks ago, a jury brought back a verdict of $78.5 million in a Pennsylvania birth injury suit. More recently, a claims bill submitted to the Florida state legislature has approved a $15 million award for another child with similar type of injuries. (The submission of a claims bill for approval of certain medical malpractice awards is required in that state.)
The latest matter concerns the birth injuries that were inflicted upon a boy who is now 14-years old. The boy now suffers from severe cerebral palsy and has been confined to a wheelchair.
What is unique about this case is that the hospital did not carry traditional medical malpractice insurance. Also, the hospital being sued apparently had the opportunity to settle this case for much less than the claims bill amount, but the medical provider instead decided to let the matter be decided by the state legislature.
Despite such successes, birth injury cases are not always easy to bring. Parents that have had children injured due to mistakes by doctors when the baby was born may wish to contact an attorney experienced in trying birth injury type cases. Birth injury cases are frequently complex and require a large number of resources to be tried.
As the above case indicates, medical malpractice claims are highly regulated and may differ from state to state. However, though this latest matter didn't concern a jury verdict, it shows that even state legislatures understand the consequences of medical malpractice.
Legislators often complain about the costs of medical malpractice to our health system, but they will still reconsider their position when faced with an individual that has suffered devastating birth injuries.
Source: Naples News, "Lee Memorial setting up panel to negotiate malpractice claims," by Liz Freeman, May 24, 2012