$74 Million Verdict in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit


February 02, 2013

A jury recently awarded a $74-million verdict in California in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by a young couple on behalf of their daughter who suffered cerebral palsy injuries at birth. This secures the funds needed for lifelong medical and personal care for the Plaintiff, Sofia Blunt, who is now three.

The lawsuit alleged that obstetrician Dr. Kurt Haupt delivered Sophia, but failed to monitor the fetal heart rate feeds, although certified in fetal monitoring, per the lawsuit. Her parent’s described Haupt’s demeanor as “oblivious” when Sofia arrived pale, limp, and non-responsive due to strangulation by the umbilical cord encircling her neck, even handing scissors to Sofia’s father to cut the cord still choking her.

Strips used in fetal monitoring that were reviewed showed tachycardia in the fetus three-hours prior to delivery. A cover-up was alleged after Haupt’s co-defendant hospital records on Sofia disappeared, such as her umbilical cord containing blood that would have proven hypoxia and respiratory therapy records.

Attorneys defending Haupt and the hospital argued that Sofia chocked on an airway obstruction, suffering no distress until five-minutes post-birth. The plaintiff argued that intubation performed through her esophagus was botched because Sofia was treated as though the airway was blocked when she was being choked by the umbilical cord.

The hospital case settled seven-weeks into the trial, pursuant to nondisclosure.

Sofia was awarded the exact amount sought on her behalf: Expenses for future medical care of $53-million and lost earnings of $10-million, based upon 63-years life-expectancy. The defense had asked jurors for $1.5-million for 25-years life-expectancy.

Sofia’s father, Andrew, a Marine and veteran of the Iraq war, and her mother, Jennifer, a Head Start director, were awarded $1.3-million and $2.5-million, respectively, for noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages totaled $11-million (Sofia’s award was $7.7-million) but California caps medical malpractice cases at $250,000.

Haupt is expected to appeal.

Our Georgia birth injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.