A mother and daughter in another state recently won a record-setting sum in their medical malpractice case. Not all birth injury cases have outcomes such as this. However, this story certainly gives parents in Louisiana and elsewhere who are in similar situations reason to pause and considered their legal options. Certain birth injuries can cause irreparable harm. When medical providers are believed responsible, it’s possible to have them held accountable financially.
At the age of 16, the mother in this case was 25 weeks pregnant with her daughter when she was diagnosed as having preeclampsia. Doctors recommended that she have an immediate cesarean section; however, she refused, choosing to wait so that her daughter would have more time to develop. When she was finally induced, she was in labor for 22 hours. During the time, her child failed to receive adequate oxygen, causing her to be born with significant brain damage. The child has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and will require full-time care for the rest of her life.
The mother claimed the hospital did not take appropriate action to prevent this outcome. The hospital claimed that care providers warned her about the consequences of not delivering when signs of preeclampsia were first noted. In the end, a jury sided with the mother and awarded her nearly $230 million in damages. The hospital is likely to appeal. Even if the decision stands following the appeals process, the mother and daughter are likely to receive less than what was awarded to them due to their state’s caps on medical malpractice damages.
This particular case was over four years in the making. This goes to show that birth injury cases are not won overnight. They take time, preparation, investigation and skillful presentation if they have any chance of being successful. Louisiana residents who have children who they believe suffered injuries at birth due to the actions of medical providers may, like this woman, seek compensation for their resulting losses through legal means. An experienced attorney can review the facts of one’s case and help one decide on an appropriate course of action.