Birth Injury Victim Awarded Millions in Damages

Elise Kramer | September 20th, 2012

A New York family has been awarded millions of dollars in damages after a jury decided they were eligible for a significant payment from the hospital which caused one of their daughters to be born with a significant birth injury. The Debes family welcomed twin sisters Amanda and Stephanie seventeen years ago, and the girls were born at St. Vincent’s Medical Center on Staten Island, New York. The girls were born prematurely, allegedly because medical professionals failed to recognize the mother’s contractions prior to labor. Although Amanda was born healthy, Stephanie now suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice.

Lawsuit claims medical negligence

The lawsuit filed by Stephanie Debes and her family claims that the St. Vincent’s hospital staff did not provide Stephanie’s mother with adequate care when she presented with contractions–instead, they failed to listen to her complaints, gave her an allergy medication (Benadryl), and sent her home. As a result, the lawsuit goes on to say, both Stephanie and Amanda were born prematurely, and Stephanie allegedly only weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces. The hospital’s attorney claimed that medical staff did all that they could in this situation, but it was undisputed that they forced the mother to go home after simply giving her an allergy medication despite her complaints.

Doctors allegedly failed to notice signs of stress in terms of both the mother and the babies. A number of patients who have been affected by cerebral palsy resulting from a birth injury have been filing lawsuits against the hospitals and staff responsible across the country with the help of birth injury lawyers. These lawsuits can sometimes net significant sums in damages, as is the case with Stephane Debes.

Damages awarded by jury

A jury decided that the Debes family was entitled to $100 million in damages, but because the hospital went bankrupt a number of years ago, they are limited to what insurance will pay. This means that they are likely to receive about $16 million, which can still significantly help Stephanie with her treatment and care.