The United States government has decided to drop the appeal of a $42 million judgment in favor of the parents of a young boy who was disabled during childbirth. According to the lawsuit, a doctor at a government-backed hospital caused traumatic brain injuries through the negligent use of forceps during the delivery. Devastating injuries similar to the ones in this case can happen anywhere in New Jersey or across the United States.
The appeal followed a verdict from a six-day trial in 2016 in which the child's parents testified how the doctor used the forceps with such force that it caused skull fractures, brain bleeding and brain damage. This occurred in the absence of any medical emergency given that both mother and child weren't in distress at the time. The court also heard testimony that the doctor was "straining, red-faced and sweaty" when attempting to extract the baby despite the fact that the mother's vital signs were normal and she had only just begun trying to push.
Nearly $33 million of the $42 million verdict was dedicated to the child's future medical care and assisted living. The parents testified that the child would need institutional care by the age of 22 and would be beyond their ability to care for him. The judgment also included $5 million for pain and suffering, $3.5 million for lost future wages and $104,000 to cover previous medical bills.
Medical malpractice can radically alter the life a child is capable of leading. When a child suffers a worsened medical condition during childbirth, his or her guardians may have a claim for damages similar to those awarded in this case. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice law may be able to help negotiate a settlement with the insurer or owner of the hospital. If those negotiations fail, an attorney might file a lawsuit to proceed on the claims through the court system.