Cerebral Palsy Legal Case Studies

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Precedent-Setting Cerebral Palsy Cases

Several recent landmark decisions have driven change to the quality of patient care, the amount of damage awards, and legal strategies when litigating these cases.

Connecticut Supreme Court Upholds Verdict

In 2024, the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld a $38 million award for the plaintiffs in a birth injury lawsuit. The suit accused UConn Health of artificially inseminating the plaintiff with sperm from a donor who was infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus similar to those that cause chickenpox, herpes simplex, and mononucleosis. This medical mistake led to the death of one of the twins she was carrying, leaving the surviving twin with devastating disabilities, including epilepsy, autism, and cerebral palsy.

Because the healthcare providers were negligent in detecting the donor’s infection, the court ruled in favor of upholding the verdict and the jury award.

Going forward, the case has far-reaching implications for facilities that provide fertility treatments.

Philadelphia Jury Awards $183 Million to Mother and Child

A Philadelphia jury awarded $183 million to a family who suffered birth injuries due to delayed care. In the suit, the plaintiffs claimed that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (H.U.P.) did not perform a cesarean section in a timely manner, despite knowing that she had an infection in the amniotic fluid and membranes surrounding the fetus. They believed the delay resulted in the child’s severe brain injuries that resulted in cerebral palsy.

A record-setting damage award of this amount sets precedence for future cases dealing with healthcare providers’ negligence in adhering to acceptable standards of care.

Family Receives $35 Million Settlement in Birth Injury Case

In 2015, the plaintiff was admitted to NorthShore’s Evanston Hospital at 27 weeks pregnant with twins. The admitting obstetrician determined she required bed rest in order to reduce the risk of death or premature birth. However, within 10 days she began having contractions and a different obstetrician supervised a third-year resident in performing a cesarean section.

The first child, a boy, was born within five minutes of starting the procedure, while the doctor took 14 minutes to deliver the second child, a girl. That amount of time exceeds the 11-to-13 -minute acceptable standard of care between births when delivering via c-section. The birth injury attorneys for the plaintiff argued that the child’s cerebral palsy was a direct result of the defendant’s diagnostic and treatment decisions in the days leading up to the birth, the incision the doctor used in the surgery, and the extended length of time between deliveries.

Expert witnesses helped determine the result of this settlement. Birth injury attorneys secured the expert testimony of a neuroradiologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis of abnormalities of the brain, spine, head, and neck. The neuroradiologist was able to help the jury understand how these injuries occurred during the course of the c-section.

How Landmark Decisions Impact Medical Practices & Legal Strategies

For healthcare providers as well as birth injury attorneys, these landmark cases inform them on how to best proceed in both patient care and birth injury lawsuits. Some key takeaways include:

  • Greater use of risk-averse practices including more diagnostic testing, better patient monitoring, and more conservative decision making.
  • Changes in laws and regulations to improve patient safety.
  • Increased importance of medical expert testimony.
  • Greater emphasis on investigation and documentation.
  • Increased use of life care planners to determine the future needs of the child.
  • Increased use of structured settlements and special needs trusts.

Contact a Birth Injury Attorney at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

The birth injury attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are dedicated and experienced professionals focused on the needs of our clients in their pursuit of justice. We have handled thousands of birth injury cases just like these, and can help you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled. We will provide a free assessment of your case and consult with our vast network of legal and medical experts to help you and your family. Call or text 800-934-6555 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form online today.

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Yes. Please have an attorney, paralegal, or staff member from Pintas & Mullins law firm or their co-counsel contact me as soon as possible to discuss my questions. They may contact me by email or telephone (including phone calls, text messages, autodialed / auto-selected or pre-recorded calls). I understand that message and data rates may apply and that consent to such contact is not required for use of these services. I also agree to the Privacy Policy, Anti Fraud Policy and online Terms, including its mandatory arbitration provision.
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