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Baby born with severe brain damage, case settles for $9 million

Some basic mistakes are made so often in birth cases that one wonders why the medical establishment hasn't resolved the problems by now. In a locality outside of Maryland, a university medical center has settled for $9 million with the parents of a baby delivered there. The baby has severe and permanent brain damage and will not be able to walk or talk due to the botched delivery procedure.

A state court judge approved the out-of-court settlement that gives the parents $9 million for the 20-months-old child's care. The mother said the recovery would allow for the child to get the best quality of life possible. The mother was in labor for 7 hours, while doctors tried to bring about the troubled delivery.

Doctors in this California case said that they believed that the mother objected to a C-section. The C-section would have resulted in a normal birth, according to the evidence. The mother angrily insists that she had no objection to a C-section and had signed a paper permitting it.

The mother bemoans that an expected healthy delivery turned into a devastating nightmare. They've struggled with medical bills and the father even had to quit his job to help with care of the baby. In California, the pain and suffering aspect of a medical negligence award is limited to $250,000. The bulk of the $9 million will be placed in a life-time annuity for the child's medical bills and treatment. The parents settled because they want to move on now that their second child, normal at birth, was delivered in another hospital.

The specifics of the negligence were not revealed in the settlement, but in Maryland and nationwide generally similar problems occur in botched birth deliveries. For example, sometimes a doctor confronts a difficult delivery but mistakenly doesn't switch to a Cesarean. Instead, the doctor may use a forceps and other tools to try and squeeze the baby through. There is severe brain damage from the pressure of the forceps pulling on the head, and perhaps by the bodily parts pressing on the head along with the applied outside force. There can also be episodes of oxygen deprivation during the procedure.

Source:, UC Hospital Settles Medical Malpractice Lawsuit For $9 million, Lonnie Wong, Sept. 27, 2013

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