Mother of child with cerebral palsy wins birth injury case

Expectant mothers usually take every precaution to ensure the health and safety of their unborn children. Sadly, not every parent in Pennsylvania gets take home a healthy child after delivery. Some babies suffer from unpreventable genetic conditions in utero. Other times, complications during delivery or the actions of a negligent doctor can lead to birth injuries or permanent disabilities.

A New Jersey woman recently won a lawsuit against her delivery doctor for this reason. The jury awarded her $4 million dollars, but she may not be able to collect more than $1 million—the limit on the doctors liability insurance policy. The jury believed that there was enough evidence to support the woman’s claim that the doctor should have performed a C-section to deliver the baby. The size of the baby before birth, 10 pounds according to an ultrasound, was one consideration. The fact that the woman’s labor stalled after close to eight hours was another consideration and should have alerted the doctor to the fact that a vaginal delivery was not the safest option, according to expert testimony offered at the trial. The doctor claims that despite the complication, the woman was still treated according to the standard of care. Even when the woman was too tired to push any longer, the doctor continued with vaginal birth using forceps. The child’s shoulder became lodged in the pelvis and was deprived of oxygen, which allegedly caused neurological injuries and cerebral palsy. The woman also sustained injuries during childbirth, leaving her incontinent and unable to work since the delivery.

If you or your child was injured in any way during the delivery process, you may want speak with an attorney regarding your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: The Morning Call, “Lehigh County jury awards $4 million in birth injury suit,” Peter Hall, Sep. 11, 2013.