Massive Birth Injury Verdict Tragic Reminder of Seriousness of Debilitating Birth Injuries


September 25, 2012

When an expectant mother is admitted into a hospital to give birth to a baby, it typically is one of the most exciting and happiest experiences of a parent’s life. Normally a child is born without incident and goes home with the baby’s parents shortly after birth.

Tragically there are exceptions to this general rule where parents suffer the pain of having their child seriously injured during or immediately preceding or following the delivery process. When a doctor or any other member of the medical team makes a critical error during the birthing process, it can result in permanent physical and mental disabilities that have a life-long impact on a child’s quality of life. If your child suffers cerebral palsy or other devastating birth injuries, you may have a right to seek damages for the injury to your child.

A recent example is provided by a $144 million judgment on behalf of a 15-year-old quadriplegic girl who suffered serious birth injuries that left her permanently disabled. When the girl was delivered at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, the doctors who delivered the baby allegedly failed to recognize that because of the baby’s size a cesarean delivery was necessary. The girl weighed ten pounds, twelve ounces when she was born. The delivery resulted in the girl suffering a broken clavicle and brain hemorrhaging.

While the family of the girl alleged that the girl should have been delivered via C-section, the doctors forced the girl through the vagina using a drug called Pitocin to cause the uterus to contract. When the girl was born, she was not breathing after being forced through the vagina and suffered serious brain injury. The attorneys for the girl alleged a number of different breaches of the appropriate professional standard of care including:

  • Causing trauma during a vaginal delivery
  • Negligently causing a fracture of the baby’s clavicle
  • Negligently causing injury to the baby’s nervous system
  • Failure to provide negligent prenatal care
  • Failure to use competent medical staff
  • Failure to recommend a C-section

Many cases involving birth injuries that result in permanent physical and mental impairment, such as cerebral palsy, result in substantial verdicts. The jury awarded the girl $144 million for her injuries because she will need a lifetime of supportive care and will also be permanently disabled from employment.

This birth injury lawsuit illustrates the important role of the causation issue in many birth injury cases. The focus of the defense strategy in the lawsuit was not on whether or not the doctor or hospital provided substandard care. Causation was the key issue in the case with the hospital and doctors both alleging that the girl’s serious injuries were caused by genetic factors and not the traumatic birthing process. While the jury rejected this argument, the doctor and hospital have indicated that they will appeal the decision.

During the delivery process, medical errors, including an increase in blood pressure of the mother, can result in a disruption of oxygen to the fetus. This can cause severe permanent brain damage and/or the development of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can mean impaired coordination and motor skills and severe mental impairment. The financial, emotional and fiscal challenges of such injuries can be devastating for both the baby and the baby’s parents.

If your child suffered a serious birth injury that you believe was the product of hospital or doctor negligence, the experienced Georgia medical malpractice lawyers at Montlick and Associates give their best effort on behalf of clients as part of their continuing goal of being the best birth injury law firm in Georgia.

Our Georgia medical malpractice lawyers are available to assist 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.