When a New York medical malpractice lawyer turned down an $8 million settlement offer for a girl born with severe cerebral palsy due to birth injuries, everyone thought he was crazy. When took the case to trial and lost, it looked like they were right. That case was overturned on appeal, however, and had to be retried. The second trial ended with a hung jury.
Ten years after the girl suffered oxygen deprivation that caused her cerebral palsy, a third jury finally awarded her $130 million.
“I’m humbled, in all honesty,” commented the attorney. “I believe justice has been done”
The lawsuit accused the obstetrician and medical staff at a local hospital of failing to recognize the signs of fetal distress as the baby’s brain was being deprived of oxygen. The now 10-year-old girl cannot speak or walk and will require round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.
“The saddest part of this case is that despite the litany of errors, this baby could have been rescued,” explained the girl’s lawyer. “Had the nursing team communicated with the obstetrician just 15 minutes sooner – and delivered the baby – this terrible tragedy could have been avoided.”
According to the attorney, the little girl’s mother, elated and relieved by the much-needed jury award, said “the agony of the last 10 years is finally ended with the knowledge that our beloved daughter will be protected for the rest of her life.”
The lawyer representing the hospital believes the judge will knock the $130 million to substantially less, however. He also indicated that the hospital might appeal, or even lodge a professional misconduct complaint.
Hopefully, the girl will finally receive the compensation she deserves for the substantial harm caused by the birth injury, along with whatever she needs to make her life as healthy, safe and full as possible.
Source: New York Post, “This lawyer turned down $8M… and got them $130M,” Julia Marsh and Bob Fredericks, April 18, 2013