$32 Million Award Granted in Pennsylvania Cerebral Palsy Case

Ava Lawson | February 7th, 2014 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News, Recent Settlements

Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit – $32 Million Birth Injury Malpractice AwardNegligence on the part of nursing staff at Phoenixville Hospital has led to the permanent brain damage of a young girl, who now suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. After deliberating some nine hours, a Common Pleas Court jury handed down a $32 million birth injury malpractice award to the little girl, enabling her family to provide the best care possible for her recovery.

The cerebral palsy lawsuit alleged that the nurses failed to provide the proper standard of care during the mother’s delivery, ultimately causing the woman’s infant daughter to suffer fetal asphyxia and irreversible brain trauma.

Importance of monitoring fetal heart rate

After listening to testimony and reviewing evidence over the course of the two-week trial, jurors found that nursing staff at Phoenixville Hospital had failed to notify the plaintiff’s doctor about a 13-minute interval in which the baby’s heart rate showed drastic drops.

Court documents submitted by the plaintiff’s counsel indicate that on November 4, 2009, the baby’s heart rate plummeted sharply — from a normal 150 beats per minute to 60 beats per minute. Their lawyer said the drastic drop in heart rate likely resulted from a knot in the umbilical cord, which was blocking vital oxygen to the baby’s brain.

However, the attending OB-GYN wasn’t notified promptly of this change, leaving the fetus without adequate oxygen supply for several minutes. The family attorney notes that expert testimony given during the trial stated that had the child been delivered between 15 and 17 minutes earlier, she would have suffered “ either minimal brain damage or none at all.”

The $32.8 million cerebral palsy verdict is one of the largest ever handed down in Chester County. The award joins the ranks of other multi-million birth injury verdicts rendered in Pennsylvania courts. In 2012, jurors ruled against Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, giving $78.5 million to the family of another child who sustained brain damage during a delayed delivery.

In this case, the little girl suffers from serious physical limitations in addition to developmental disabilities.  Due to uncontrolled spasms in her limbs, she has difficulty walking and controlling her neck, and has limited capabilities speaking. At present, she is attending Arc of Chester County, a school that specializes in educating physically and developmentally disabled children.

“This verdict essentially enables her parents to give her the best care and the best chance for recover,” said the family’s malpractice attorney. “I think the jury found that this was not up to the standard of care in Chester County. They didn’t give up on this little girl. They spoke for her.”

Birth injury malpractice attorneys

If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you believe malpractice is to blame, the law firm of Balkin and Eisbrouch is here to help. Our lawyers offer more than four decades of experience in birth injury litigation, and we are committing to obtaining compensation on behalf of innocent victims.

For a free case review to determine your grounds for legal action, call us today. Damages recouped from a cerebral palsy lawsuit can help ensure a secure financial future for your family. Our practice works on a contingency basis, meaning there are no fees until we recover compensation on your behalf.