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Illinois watches birth injuries case in another state

A jury in a state outside of Illinois recently awarded a woman $23 million. The lawsuit originated from a claim of medical malpractice due to her daughter's birth injuries from alleged mistakes that occurred during an extremely premature birth. The child not only suffered from severe brain damage but also cerebral palsy

The verdict from April 24, 2015, stated that the woman's physician was 70 percent at fault for the child's injuries. It attributed the other 30 percent to the hospital. The plaintiff's attorney stated that when a jury declares negligence it makes other medical professionals more careful, and everyone is safer as a result.

This incident began when the woman was 24-weeks pregnant. Her doctor found her urine contained high levels of protein and her blood pressure was high. This is a sign of early-onset preeclampsia, so he sent her to the hospital.

That particular hospital's policy was to not deliver a baby before the 33rd week of pregnancy. Tests showed that the fetus was smaller than normal and indicated limited blood flow. These factors apparently could result in brain damage to the fetus.

The woman was given no corticosteroids, which are required for women before a premature delivery. She also was not transferred to a hospital with high-level care due to her condition. At 26-weeks pregnant, the woman began to show signs of injury to her organs. Her child was delivered by C-section, but, even so, her daughter was born with a severe brain injury and cerebral palsy.

Due to the birth injuries, her daughter will need constant, lifelong care. The trial lasted for three weeks, and, although the woman did not get the $54 million she requested, she was awarded an amount that will help her to care for her daughter. The family members of Illinois victims of medical malpractice may pursue similar suits in Illinois civil courts on behalf of their loved ones.

Source: dailybusinessreview.com, "Jury Awards $23 Million for Disabled Newborn in Medical Malpractice Case", Julie Kay, May 19, 2015

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