$1.4 Million Settlement Reached in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

Staff Writer | November 30th, 2012 | Posted in Recent Settlements

A $1.4 million settlement was reached in a cerebral palsy lawsuit a few weeks prior to the trial’s start date. The medical malpractice suit alleged that the minor plaintiff suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy because of the obstetrician’s negligence during the mother’s pregnancy.

According to the complaint, the obstetrician disregarded medical records showing that the mother would likely have a high-risk pregnancy, and those actions led to the child suffering long-term injuries as a result of the premature birth.

Baby born prematurely via C-section

As detailed in the cerebral palsy lawsuit, the mother had difficulty conceiving, but after years of fertility treatments she became pregnant in May of 1995. On May 24, 1995, the fertility specialist informed the obstetrician that the woman received treatment for non-invasive cervical cancer in 1987. The obstetrician was also notified that the plaintiff had a weak cervix that made it difficult for her to carry a baby to full-term.

When the woman became pregnant with her first child in 1988, she was given a cervical cerlage that prevented her from giving birth prematurely. A cervical cerlage is a surgical procedure in which the opening to the uterus is stitched closed to prevent a miscarriage or premature birth.

Even though the obstetrician knew about the women’s medical history, he stated that the plaintiff’s cervix was strong enough to carry the fetus and a cervical cerlage would not be necessary. The obstetrician used ultrasounds to evaluate the status of the pregnancy. About 20 weeks into the pregnancy, the fetus started to fall through the cervix and an emergency cervical cerlage was performed. Six weeks later, the baby was born prematurely via cesarean section.

Cerebral palsy causes

The minor plaintiff stayed in the hospital for several weeks after being born. The child was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. This form of cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the outer layers of the brain. Communication that normally occurs between the brain, nerves and muscles is interrupted. As a result, it is difficult for the child to coordinate movements of the muscles, and whenever the child tries to move the legs or arms, they become tense or spastic.

Cerebral palsy causes were linked to the obstetrician’s failure to perform an elective cervical cerlage earlier in the pregnancy. By the time the emergency surgical procedure was performed, the fetus was already in distress and started to fall through the opening in the uterus. The mother continued to have medical complications until the child was born.

The lawsuit claims that the fetus did not have the chance to fully develop due to the obstetrician’s actions, which caused the minor plaintiff to develop other medical problems including chronic lung disease, anemia, respiratory issues, and acid reflux disease.

The obstetrician argued that the mother only had a slight chance of premature birth based on her medical history. He believed that monitoring her pregnancy with consistent ultrasounds was sufficient. The obstetrician did not think that a cervical cerlage was necessary until the mother starting dilating 20 weeks into the pregnancy. Both parties agreed to a $1.4 million birth injury settlement before the trial began.

Cerebral palsy malpractice attorneys

Parents of children with cerebral palsy must endure major emotional and financial hardships. In preventable cases where medical mistakes are to blame, malpractice attorneys can help parents receive the compensation they need to care for their children. Getting a settlement or jury award alleviates some of the monetary burden parents grapple with as a result of their child’s preventable injuries.

If your child suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of hospital negligence, you have legal recourse. The lawyers at Balkin & Eisbrouch are leaders in the field of birth injury litigation, helping families recover substantial compensation for their child’s injuries and future medical treatment. Please call us today for a free case evaluation.