Most Florida mothers give birth to their babies without any issues. However, sometimes something goes wrong and the baby’s life – or the mother’s – is put at risk. Many times, these issues are caused by doctor error. One family recently received a $55 million award after a doctor forced a woman to deliver her baby vaginally, causing the baby to lose oxygen and now suffer from cerebral palsy.
The Pennsylvania woman was delivering her baby in November 2009 when the baby started to lose oxygen. Doctors did not order a C-section and instead forced the woman to continue delivering the baby vaginally, even though it was determined that the baby was too large for a normal delivery due to the mother’s petite body frame.
The baby continued to lose oxygen at a rapid pace. He got stuck during delivery and had to be extracted through a vacuum. The baby was born pale with a faint pulse. He experienced bleeding in the brain. The mother also experienced bleeding and required surgery.
The boy, now 4 years old, suffers from developmental delays. He is still in diapers and cannot walk or talk well. The family believes the boy would have been fine had he been delivered by C-section.
The family sued St. Luke’s University Hospital and one of the doctors for medical malpractice. Although the jury agreed on a $55 million award, the family will receive less due to a high-low deal that guarantees the family a minimum amount of compensation.
We expect to receive a high standard of medical care during childbirth. It’s unfortunate that an exciting time in a person’s life turned out to be devastating for this family due to a doctor’s error.
Source: The Morning Call, “Lehigh County jury awards family $55 million in medical malpractice case against St. Luke’s” Kevin Amerman, Dec. 23, 2013