The family of a Tinley Park, Illinois girl has been awarded a medical malpractice verdict of $23.1 million in a brain damage case stemming from her birth. Now five years old, the girl suffers from ongoing health problems following a complicated birth. The medical malpractice verdict will go a long way toward securing ongoing care and treatment, and support for the girl and her family.
While helpful, no monetary award can make up for what is lost when a child is injured by medical malpractice or negligence. To learn more about your legal rights as a patient, and that of your child, contact the skilled attorneys at Brown & Brothers today.
Brain Damage Case Information
While planning to give birth in 2011, the Tinley Park mother chose Palos Community Hospital based on advertisements for its on-site neonatologist and facilities. The 38-year-old mother was concerned about her age and “high-risk” status, and chose a hospital with adequate facilities to monitor and manage her pregnancy and delivery.
During delivery, however, things went horribly wrong. At one point, a nurse noticed a pool of blood collected on the mother’s bed, at which point the fetal heart rate also was no longer measurable. The baby was delivered via Cesarean section (c-section). During labor and delivery, the hospital tried numerous times to reach the mother’s doctor, but were unsuccessful. An associate was then called in to oversee care for the mother and child. It was not until later that her doctor was reached and returned to the hospital.
At the time the baby was born, she had lost around 60 percent of her blood supply due to a vessel rupture. Records also showed that there was no heartbeat for 21 minutes prior to delivery, and she was delivered with “no signs of life”. She was resuscitated, and the associate ordered blood, but it wasn’t enough. Additional blood was then ordered, but was delayed by three hours.
The consequences of the massive blood loss and delays in delivery and blood supply caused severe brain damage to the baby. She spent nine weeks in neonatal intensive care (NICU) and suffers from a variety of health conditions as a result, including epilepsy and cerebral palsy. She is reliant on others for day-to-day care and requires speech, physical, and occupational therapies. Her mother had to quit her job in order to care for her daughter’s daily needs.
The lawsuit filed against the neonatologist and Palos Community Hospital in 2014 found the hospital was not negligent, but ordered it liable for $21 million of the verdict amount. The doctor settled his liability for $2 million – the same amount ordered by the judge in the verdict. The doctor did not work directly for Palos Community Hospital, but a firm that provided neonatology services to it.
Managing Brain Damage and Birth Injuries
Severe brain injuries, like those suffered by the little girl in the case discussed above, can have a significant impact on your entire family. Not only are you managing ongoing healthcare issues, therapies, and in some cases even surgeries your child may require, but you also have to consider how to care for the rest of your family.
There are also many factors to consider when your child suffers brain damage and cannot care for him or herself. Do you need to modify your home? How will you pay for medical care? What about education? Can you keep your job? Can you afford to hire a nurse? These are only some of the questions commonly asked by parents of a child with brain injuries.
Questions about Birth Injuries Caused by Negligence
If your child’s brain damage was caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider, you likely have even more questions and concerns about the future of your child, and your family. Start getting answers and the information you need by browsing through our Birth Injury Guide topics. The information compiled here was designed to help families learn more about birth injuries, brain damage, and how you can get the help you need to move toward a bright, stable future.
For more information about your legal rights, filing a birth injury lawsuit, or getting financial help, contact Brown & Brothers to speak with one of our qualified birth injury and medical malpractice attorneys. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing families with information, comprehensive legal guidance, and the support needed to move forward. Fill out our online form and our team will contact you as soon as possible.