Birth Injury Lawsuit Settled for $4.72 Million

Perry Larkin | February 27th, 2013

Courthose  attorneyNegligence on the part of medical professionals led to a family receiving $4.72 million to settle a lawsuit brought against the Salina Regional Health Center. Mistakes made by the physician and treatment that was found to be less than that of standard medical practices caused a newborn’s birth injuries.

The mother gave birth in February of 2006 and the child was found to be suffering from HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) and cerebral palsy after being deprived of oxygen.

A $3.7 million settlement was negotiated with the defendants. This amount cleared what was kept in reserve by the hospital for malpractice lawsuits. Dr. David Prendergast, the obstetrician overseeing the labor, paid $20,000 from his own pocket to cover the legal expenses of the plaintiffs. His coverage provided the other $1 million.

Baby’s decelerating heart rate went unnoticed

In labor, the mother went to the hospital. A Cesarean section was performed almost 5 hours after her admission. According to the medical malpractice filing, the medical staff placed the mother on a fetal heart rate monitor. It showed evidence of compression of the umbilical cord every time she had a contraction. While working on the patient, Dr. Prendergast ruptured a membrane. The baby suffered from rapidly slowed heartbeat. This can be a signal of a blockage in the umbilical cord. Nothing more was done by the personnel after this occurrence.

The doctor came back almost 15 minutes later. In his deposition, he stated that the heart monitor showed quickly and erratically slowing heart rate in the baby that went unnoticed. Had the staff been aware of what was happening, they would have intervened. They did not.

Child requires 24 hour care due to birth injuries

With the mother fully dilated, the doctors instructed the nurse to tell the mother to push. When the mother followed the doctor’s instructions, the baby’s heartbeat decreased to sixty beats per minute. This is not fast enough to provide oxygen to the brain. Following the C-section, the child was born asphyxiated.

Because of the failure on the part of the doctor to accurately assess the situation and react appropriately to the emergency, the child suffered severe birth injuries.

The child, a girl, needs to be cared for twenty-four hours a day and will never live a normal life. Her chance at a normal life is gone. Families with a child suffering from birth injuries such as this face massive expenses and anguish and a lawsuit can assist in compensating them for an avoidable error.

Contact an attorney at Balkin & Eisbrouch

If you or a loved one have experienced a birth injury because of a medical error or negligence, the experienced attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch can help you. Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience in lawsuits related to birth injuries because of medical malpractice. Compensation from such a case can help pay for the expenses that accompany this type of incident that can leave a family facing a lifetime of debt, suffering and hardship.

Call to talk to a lawyer at Balkin & Eisbrouch. Consultations are always at no charge to you and you pay no money unless we win your case. Call today.