When an innocent baby is harmed by the inattentiveness or sloppiness of a doctor, there is nothing that can repair the damage that has been done. New Jersey readers can only imagine the pain and anguish the parents feel knowing that their child will not grow up to live the healthy, normal life he or she deserves.
Recently, a family in California won a significant award in their lawsuit against a doctor whom they claim was negligent in delivering their child, causing their daughter to develop cerebral palsy.
(Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term referring to a range of developmental disabilities, including those caused by a child not getting enough oxygen during the delivery process and thus sustaining brain damage.)
The family in this case was able to show that even though the baby's heart rate was vacillating out of control, the doctor did nothing to speed up the birth process and get the baby proper medical care. Because the girl will now need significant (and expensive) medical attention and therapy going forward, the family was awarded $74 million. The hospital where the doctor worked had settled about 2.5 weeks before the trial "for an undisclosed sum."
That much money certainly sounds like a lot, but there is a chance the award could be reduced by the judge (a move that's allowed in this jurisdiction) or downsized if the doctor decides to appeal. Furthermore, the family will not be spending this on cruises or fancy cars; it is likely it will all go towards making their daughter's life as easy and pain-free as possible, given the terrible health consequences
Source: The San Luis Obispo Tribune, "Parents awarded $74 million in malpractice lawsuit against doctor," Nick Wilson, April 21, 2012
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