A jury awarded a Maryland family $21 million after it determined that medical negligence caused their child to be born with cerebral palsy. During the birthing process, the boy lost oxygen. The doctors negligently failed to take proper corrective action and as a result the boy was born with very limited use of his legs and difficulty completing many simple tasks with his hands. The hospital expressed its sympathy for the boy and his family but is considering an appeal of the jury’s decision.
The vast majority of the jury award, some $18 million, was based on the expected cost of future medical care for a child who is cognitively fine, but suffers massive physical impairment. To those who have never dealt with severe and lifelong medical condition, such an award can be seen as extravagant. The truth is that the vast majority of that money will be required to cover ongoing medical expenses for the victim.
Medical malpractice claims have been decreasing for years despite significant evidence that the number of medical errors leading to serious injury or death is on the rise. Many thousands of people die in hospitals every year due to substandard care. If you believe you or a loved one has been injured through negligent medical care, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Jury awards Glen Burnie family $21 million in Harbor Hospital medical case,” by Kevin Rector, 31 July 2012