Family Compensated Ten Years Later for Medical Malpractice During Childbirth

A Virginia family will finally get some relief after ten years of bearing the burden for their daughter’s birth defects. On Friday May 18, 2012 a jury granted nine million dollars to the family. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys fully support this verdict in light of the doctors’ misguided treatment because we understand just how difficult it is for a family to cope with injuries of this severity. Medical malpractice issues during childbirth are particularly sensitive and critical because the injuries produced usually have a life-long impact.

The Virginia family is a perfect example of the hardship following malpractice. In 2001, the mother gave birth to her daughter. According to expert witnesses at trial the birth was surrounded by mistakes. First a doctor performed allegedly unnecessary tests to determine the mom’s lung function without consulting her. The doctor then proceeded to miss signs of complication before passing the mother along to a fellow practitioner.

The second doctor missed further signs of complication and decided to induce labor without consulting the pregnant woman. Experts at trial said the proper course of action would have been a C-section delivery. Due to the misguided treatment the girl’s kidneys were destroyed at birth, she was missing almost half of the blood a baby should have at birth, and she suffered severe brain damage due to the lack of oxygen flowing to the brain.

Now at ten years old the girl has undergone two kidney transplants and she suffers from severe cerebral palsy. Her parents have provided loving care in order to help her develop to her full potential but she will still need medical care and specialized education for years to come. The jury verdict was based on the fact that the victim’s have already spent $1.4 million on medical care and experts predict they could encounter up to $8 million in future expenses.

This girl is a fighter. Her family has carefully tailored their life to provide her with a safe environment to grow. The emotional hardships on the parents have taken a huge toll. Taxing hours in waiting rooms will never be forgotten. The family always stayed close to hospitals as they awaited eligible kidneys for transplant. At age 6 after one false alert of a potential kidney, the girl finally got her first kidney. The circumstances of transplant show just how challenging this whole process has been.

The parents received the call that a kidney was ready in the middle of the night. They prepared the six-year-old, took her sister and drove 2.5 hours to the hospital. The family waited anxiously in the waiting room during the six hour surgery. The procedure was successful and it ultimately freed her from many necessary dialysis care steps before she received the transplant. Although things are looking up for her after the transplant, there is no excuse for the hardships the family has undergone in the meantime.

Medical malpractice laws are designed to help families like the victim’s. Doctor’s should be held responsible for critical mistakes that have lasting consequences. In the girl’s case the doctors were charged with negligence for failing to meet the standard of care. The standard of care is a basic pillar of medical malpractice law that acts as a baseline against which a judge or jury can measure a particular doctor’s actions. If a doctor has not been as diligent as an average doctor would be in the same situation it is possible that the doctor failed to meet the standard of care.

In the victim’s case the standard of care might have been failed when the treating doctors missed signs of complication. The doctors may also have failed because they did not consult the mother about the courses of treatment they chose. If you or a loved one is injured by a doctor failing to exercise a reasonable standard of care you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately to begin the process of legal action.

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