Brain Damage Lawsuit Results in $3 Million Settlement

Sarah Klein | November 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Recent Settlements

Prior to going to trial, a brain damage lawsuit was settled for $3 million in a case involving birth injury medical malpractice.  Similar to other cases based on C-section mistakes, hospital negligence is a prominent theme in hundreds of birth injury settlements across the nation. In this particular case, the obstetrician and nurses failed to act upon signs of fetal distress and provide a timely delivery, causing the newborn to suffer irreversible brain damage.

The minor plaintiff child, who is now four years old, continues to experience significant neurological delays and wears braces on her limbs for ongoing seizures. The girl is wheelchair-bound and cannot speak more than a handful of words due to complications from her permanent brain injuries.


Brain damage lawsuit timeline

The mother, a 36-year old woman in good health, was admitted for a scheduled C-section on January 18, 2007. Upon general examination the external fetal heart rate showed 118 bpm – much lower than normal compared to the plaintiff’s earlier FHR reports. Over the next several hours, the fetal heart rate continued to decrease, then increase, showing a pattern of weakening variability, decelerations, and a heart rate below the normal baseline.

Despite ongoing signs of fetal distress as indicated by the heart rate monitor, the hospital personnel failed to act accordingly by initiating a prompt C-section, administering oxygen, or repositioning the mother, allowing the newborn to remain in utero with decreased blood flow and limited oxygen. Nearly four hours later, the obstetrician finally delivered the child via cesarean section. The minor plaintiff was admitted to the ICU, where she was later diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic (HIE) changes, subclinical seizures, and oral motor dysfunction.

Grounds for birth injury settlements

In this tragic brain damage lawsuit, the plaintiffs were prepared to offer expert testimony that the hospital personnel’s failure to intervene and deliver the infant sooner ultimately resulted in the minor plaintiff’s lasting neurological damage.  While cesarean sections are a common procedure, when not performed promptly, mothers and their newborns may become victims of C-section mistakes. Medical malpractice is frequently blamed in birth injury lawsuits, when a health professional or medical practitioner commits an error – or a series of misjudgments – during the birth process.