A Maryland court of appeals recently affirmed a $4.1 million dollar medical malpractice verdict involving an alleged birth injury that resulted in brain damage to a baby boy. Assuming there is no additional appeal, the money will be used to provide for the child's basic needs over his lifetime. The medical malpractice lawyers who argued this case are to be commended, as they overcame a significant obstacle to winning the case based on the baby's underlying premature birth.
The child's mother was admitted to the University of Maryland Hospital while just 26 weeks along in her pregnancy. According to the family's medical malpractice lawyers, doctors should have performed an emergency cesarean after based, in part, on the mother had an infection. This was not done. As a result, they argue the baby suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or HIE--at type of oxygen deprivation. In doing so, the lawyers for the family convinced the jury that part, if not all, of the child's brain damage occurred as a result of oxygen deprivation from a delayed delivery rather than preexisting damage from prematurity.
Failure to perform an emergency c-section is a common allegation made by medical malpractice lawyers in birth injury cases involving brain damage. The Plaintiff's typically argue the baby was experiencing fetal distress which required immediate delivery to avoid brain damage. In contrast, the defense routinely argues that they were not negligent in delaying delivery and, in either event, the baby's neurologic problems were preexisting.
In the recent Maryland case, the medical malpractice defense lawyers argued their doctors and hospital were not negligent in anyway and that the baby's brain damaged was caused by his prematurity at 26 weeks gestation--that is, it preexisted labor and delivery. Ultimately, the jury disagreed and found against the defense. After the defense appealed. The appellate court ultimately affirmed the jury's verdict in favor of the boy.
Marylayndinjurylawyerblog.com, Baltimore City Birth Injury Verdict Affirmed, February 17, 2012.