Birth injuries are among the most disturbing instances of medical malpractice. They rob the most precious and defenseless among us of a fair shot at a healthy, normal life. Unsurprisingly, courts tend to deliver swift and substantial justice to the families affected by astounding medical negligence.
Most recently, a federal judge in California handed down a $9.6 million verdict in favor of a 3-year-old girl who suffered permanent brain injury after her doctor waited too long to perform a C-section.
Additionally, the judge awarded $250,000 in emotional damages to the girl’s mother.
According to The Washington Times, the young girl’s damages include muteness, blindness, immobility, inability to dress or take care of herself, and occasional seizures. Her attorneys say she must be fed through a feeding tube in order to survive.
The judge ruled that the doctor waited too long to perform a C-section, despite the baby’s declining heart rate and the mother’s apparent difficulty in delivering vaginally.
Obviously, the damages in this case are particularly devastating, but C-section malpractice is more common in the United States than many may realize.
Doctors have a legal duty to promptly initiate a C-section in emergency situations, and the burden of knowing when to make that call falls on them, not on the mother. If they make errors during the procedure, or if they wait too long to start it, they can be held liable for the damages that result. Hospitals and nurses may share in the responsibility as well.
Juries are often stirred by these cases, and large verdicts are not uncommon. Nevertheless, victims and their families have a long and difficult road ahead of them. As Middlesex County personal injury lawyers, it’s our job to hold negligent doctors accountable and get our clients the compensation they need to travel that path.