Childbirth is an exciting event anticipated by hundreds of expectant parents in Illinois and elsewhere every day. However, the joy of a birth can quickly turn to fear and sadness when complications arise in the delivery process. A couple in another state experienced a devastating outcome when their doctor left the delivery room for an extended period of time, resulting in severe birth injuries to their newborn son.
A 19-year-old woman had gone through a normal pregnancy and was in the process of delivering her baby. However, the baby was born with limp limbs and was blue in the face. It was necessary for a medical team to revive the infant, who had severe brain damage from the lack of oxygen. According to a lawsuit filed by the couple, the doctors had failed to perform a cesarean section and had left the expectant mother's room for 8 minutes for a phone call with his stockbroker.
The physician attempted to blamed the mother for not pushing hard enough in the labor process. He also allegedly falsified records, stating that the patient had refused a C-section. The parents will need constant care for the child for his lifetime. The couple received a $33.8 million malpractice judgment from the federal lawsuit.
Although the doctor no longer works for the hospital where the incident occurred, he continues to maintain his medical license. To date, he has not received any further penalties. In fact, since he worked for a health clinic that was federally funded, he was not personally liable for the settlement to be paid to the woman who lost the baby.
Catastrophic birth injuries can leave families with exorbitant medical expenses and the reality of around-the-clock care for a lifetime. When negligence is suspected, Illinois residents may elect to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to help defray some of the financial burden. An experienced attorney can assist families with the complexities of a lawsuit and work diligently to help them achieve a favorable outcome.
Source: Miami Herald, "Miami doctor hit with $33 million judgment in brain-damaged baby suit", Daniel Chang, April 28, 2017