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Toddler awarded $7.5M in birth injury settlement

In what may be described as a landmark case that New Haven, Connecticut, residents can learn from, a county board of supervisors agreed to settle a malpractice case involving birth injury. They awarded an 18-month-boy $7.5 million as payment for damages.

According to the boy's attorney, the boy's mother, at 39 weeks gestation, went to the medical center complaining of terrible abdominal pain. However, a medical resident discharged the woman, thinking that the pain she was having was insignificant. The woman left but returned 12 hours later to undergo an emergency Cesarean section.

However, by then, her uterus had ruptured, depriving her baby of much-needed oxygen during the delivery. The lack of oxygen caused the baby to sustain a brain injury during the delivery. The boy's lawyer contends that the birth injury was preventable; unfortunately, the three obstetricians in the labor and delivery unit did not attend to her.

Part of the settlement will go to the toddler's medical expenses. The mother might also use some of the money to buy a house so the boy can be removed from a care facility.

The toddler's case can serve as a glimmer of hope for New Haven parents whose child suffered a birth injury because of medical negligence. At such a young age, a child who is burdened with such an injury may be affected his entire life. Much like this case, a medical malpractice lawsuit may help compensate for the medical professional's mistakes.

Such a legal action may entitle a child, as well as a child's parents, to compensation for medical expenses and emotional distress. In pursuing a case, the guidance of an attorney may be invaluable. An attorney may also be able to help ensure that the lawsuit is filed within a state's statute of limitations so that the medical malpractice victim obtains a fair amount of compensation.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Los Angeles County Settles $7.5M Medical Malpractice Suit," Nov. 7, 2013

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