Iowa Family Settles Birth Injury Lawsuit for $5.5 million

Perry Larkin | March 12th, 2013

Birth DefectsIn the United States, an estimated 27 out of every thousand babies are born suffering from some form of birth injury. Many are due to factors related to genetics, but some are as a result of medical malpractice or problems during the birth. This is not uncommon and spurs the family to file a lawsuit against the doctor and/or hospital.

One example is the case of a six-year-old girl whose parents filed a lawsuit due to her suffering from shoulder dystocia at birth. Because of this, she suffers from a total lack of right arm function. The Burlington, Iowa family eventually received a jury award of $5.5 million.

Two doctors and the medical center are alleged to have acted inappropriately in prevention of a permanent injury. The case was brought in 2009 when the child was two-years-old. The defendants did not choose to settle the case. Now that a decision has been made by jury, the defendant must decide whether or not to file an appeal.

Brachial plexus injuries

A series of nerves located in the area of the neck are known as the brachial plexus. These nerves control movement and sensations in the limbs of the upper body. Injuring the brachial plexus may result in the individual being paralyzed. If the injury is due to shoulder dystocia, it may have happened because the baby became lodged behind the pelvic bone of the mother.

When this type of injury is happening, the medical staff must act quickly to stop long-term damage. There are several things they can do from moving the baby to the application of suprapubic pressure. The girl’s right shoulder became stuck against the bony area in the mother’s birth canal. As a result, she suffered an injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus. The lawsuit claims that more should have been done by the medical professionals in the delivery room to avoid the child from being damaged permanently.

Other lawsuits have received multi-million dollar awards and settlements

This lawsuit is an example of a case in which the jury gave a large award to the plaintiffs. Other cases can be settled without going to the jury. One case that resulted in a settlement of $4.72 million due to a child suffering from HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy). Similar to the case of the Iowa family, this case was filed because of birth injuries suffered because of medical negligence as the doctor did not react to the signals of fetal distress quickly enough.

Still another case ended in a Massachusetts family receiving $5 million after their child was diagnosed as having severe brain damage that has harmed his ability to take care of himself and in communicating.

Contact an experienced birth injury lawyer

The Iowa child, according to her family, states that she will require more surgery in the future and will endure medical problems for the remainder of her life. Financial compensation cannot assuage all the pain for her and her family, but they can help with the necessities of life including medical treatment, equipment and long-term care.

Has your child been the victim of medical malpractice and suffered a birth injury? If so, you may be able to file a lawsuit. To learn whether you have a case, contact the experienced birth injury lawyers at Balkin & Eisbrouch.

Balkin & Eisbrouch has over 40 years of experience and the consultation is always free. You pay no money unless you win your case. Call today.