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Jury finds negligence in birth defect case, award $14.5 million

A jury awarded an Ohio woman and her son a multi-million dollar verdict in a case against the hospital that delivered the child. The jury found that medical negligence had limited the mother's options for delivery and delayed her care.

The Garfield Heights woman, who was 36 years old when she became pregnant in 2002, was admitted to the MetroHealth Medical Center three times during the pregnancy. Each time she had gone into labor, but it was halted with medication because the baby would be premature if delivered. On April 10, 2003, just six days following her third visit, the woman's water broke. She entered the hospital around 12:30 p.m. seeking to have the baby delivered. Staff on duty recommended that she wait, as did the obstetrician who arrived around 5:30 p.m. The baby was finally delivered by emergency caesarian section about 9 p.m. Reports indicate that the child suffered from a brain hemorrhage and now suffers from cerebral palsy, impaired vision and other serious issues.

On June 10, a jury awarded the woman and her son $14.5 million in damages from both the hospital and the obstetrician, $8 million of which is for future medical and other care for the now 11-year-old child. The jury found that there was medical negligence in not informing the woman about the significant possibility of brain hemorrhage that could result from fetal distress. Additionally, the woman's request to have the baby delivered was not heeded, nor was she given any other options at the time.

People expect to receive quality care when they go to a medical facility for treatment for an injury or illness. When there is a possibility that hospital negligence caused serious damage to a patient, an attorney could assess the situation and file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.

Source: Cleveland.com, "Garfield Heights boy and mother awarded $14.5 million in malpractice case", Karen Farkas, June 13, 2014

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