On February 3, 2015, a Kentucky hospital agreed to settle a birth injury medical malpractice case for $17.5 million. In November 2014, a Kentucky medical malpractice jury had awarded the child and his mother $18.27 million for the serious and permanent brain injury suffered by the child during delivery in 2007.
The settlement was reached after the hospital agreed to not appeal the jury’s verdict. The net settlement amount will be used to pay for the child’s past medical expenses and future anticipated medical expenses, to compensate the child for his loss of earnings and earning capacity in the future, and for his past and future pain, suffering, and mental anguish. The child requires constant care due to his debilitating injury.
The child’s mother had filed a Kentucky medical malpractice case against the OB/GYN who delivered her child as well as the hospital where the delivery took place. The Kentucky medical malpractice jury found in favor of the defendant OB/GYN, but held the defendant hospital responsible for breaching the standard of care owed to the plaintiffs, which the jury found was a substantial factor in causing the devastating injury.
In discussing the recently announced settlement, the plaintiff’s attorney stated, “It sounds like a lot of money but when you factor it out over the course of (the child’s) life expectancy, he’s going to need it. It’s hard to envision this money lasting until 2070 because that’s what it’s going to have to do and hopefully will. She’s got security now knowing that if something happens to her, (her son) will be taken care of. That was first and foremost in everybody’s mind.”
Birth injury claims are some of the most expensive medical malpractice claims because of the extent of the typical injuries and the length of time that the birth injury victim will live with the consequences of medical negligence. Medical malpractice defendants in birth injury lawsuits are often faced with the prospect that a jury will have substantial compassion for the injured child and that a jury will be less swayed by their typical defense tactics and arguments that often focus on and blame the actions of the victims of medical negligence.
Because of the costly nature of medical malpractice committed on a newborn or child, health care providers who attend to the medical care of the very young often engage in coordinated and well-financed efforts to have states place limits on the amount of damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and similar noneconomic damages they will be responsible for in the event that their negligent medical treatment results in catastrophic birth injuries. These so-called caps on noneconomic damages not only fail to fairly and adequately compensate the innocent victims of medical negligence, they are an affront to our core values that include personal responsibility for the harms caused to others.
If your child suffered a birth injury that may be due to medical negligence, you should promptly find a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you and your child in a birth injury medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in Kentucky or in your state who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.