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$5 million awarded in fatal birth injuries case

The birth of a new baby is typically an exciting time in many Illinois homes. In addition to setting up the nursery and attending showers, the parents-to-be must decide specific details regarding the child's birth. Decisions regarding whether to have a natural birth or an assisted birth are normally part of the process. For some, there is also the decision of whether to have the baby in a hospital or with the assistance of a midwife. Recently, a family in another state was awarded $5 million after their son died as a result of birth injuries while being delivered by a midwife in a birthing center.

According to information provided by the family, they desired a more personal atmosphere than a hospital would provide for the birth of their child. Therefore, they researched their options and decided to use a local birthing center. Prior to the birth of their child, the baby was breech. However, they were reportedly assured that it would be safe to attempt a normal delivery in the birthing center.

After the mother was in labor and pushing for an extended period of time, the baby was partially born. However, his head was still stuck in the birth canal, though the midwife -- after tugging the baby for approximately seven minutes -- was able to free him. When he was born, he showed no signs of life. After attempting to revive the infant, emergency personnel were called. Thirteen days later, the baby died as a result of brain injuries.

Illinois parents-to-be have many important decisions to make. They want to be certain that their child will have every opportunity for a successful start in life. However, when problems occur and birth injuries result, there are other decisions to be made. If the birth injuries were possibly the result of medical malpractice, the parents may decide to file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages in an Illinois civil court.

Source:, "Michigan judge awards $5M to couple after botched delivery by midwife", Louise Knott Ahern, May 27, 2014

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