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Doctor errors led to brain damage: lawsuit

When an expectant mother in New York has experienced a relatively complication-free pregnancy, she typically goes into the labor and delivery process with the expectation that she will leave the hospital with her healthy baby a few days later. While this is typically the case, not all deliveries go according to plan. In fact, a family and hospital recently settled allegations that doctor errors caused severe damage for a child born there.

The lawsuit stemmed from the delivery of a child in July 2011. The plaintiffs maintained that the hospital administered too much pitocin during the delivery. As a result, the mother began experiencing contractions that were so close together and strong that only limited oxygen made it through to the baby.

They further claim that, even though the baby was showing signs of distress, hospital personnel delayed the performance of a Caesarean section. As a result, they claim, the child suffered severe brain damage; she is unable to talk or take care of herself and will likely need extensive care and medical treatment for the rest of her life. The plaintiffs and the hospital have recently agreed on a settlement of $15 million. As part of the agreement, the hospital does not admit liability.

An incident such as this can severely alter a family's way of life. In many situations, a parent must quit his or her job to provide care. These lost wages in addition to medical expenses are often more than many families in New York experiencing similar circumstances due to doctor errors can manage. To help manage their financial situation and ensure that responsible parties are held accountable, victims and their families often choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Sauk Village family reaches $15M settlement over alleged brain damage during delivery", Becky Yerak, July 26, 2017

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