When a mother was told that her son would someday be able to express himself by smiling, she said her initial reaction was: “That’s it?” Two years later, the mother understands how precious that smile really is considering the traumatic birth injury her son suffered.
Everything seemed to be going just fine when the woman went into labor at her home with the assistance of a midwife. However, soon it was evident that the baby had become stuck in the birthing canal. The woman said she was told everything would be fine as she was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, and she figured she would have an emergency Caesarean section right away.
But that’s not what happened. In a lawsuit against the hospital, the woman and her family allege that doctors waited a full two hours before performing the C-section, and that’s what caused her baby to suffer from severe developmental disorders. The situation was urgent, but it wasn’t treated as so, the lawsuit charges.
And the jury agreed. Late last month, the family was awarded $55 million in damages, an unprecedented sum. The hospital has vowed to appeal the decision, claiming that no standard of care was breached in delivering the baby. The hospital said it sympathizes with the family, but was “stunned and surprised” that the jury sided with them.
If the case is successfully appealed, it is possible that the $55 million jury award could be lowered by a judge. However, it is also possible that the jury award will be reaffirmed as is. Both actual and punitive damages were awarded.
Source: WBAL-TV, “Jury Awards Family $55 Million in Medical Malpractice Suit,” Phil Yacuboski, June 26, 2012