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Child born with cerebral palsy awarded $6.5 million

On Dec. 3, a Texas judge ordered the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood to pay the mother of a five-year-old boy $6.5 million after the child was born with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy, which is a severe form of brain damage, is caused by trauma and not a birth defect.

According to the child’s mother, the baby was born by induced labor on Sept. 12, 2008, when she had been pregnant for approximately 37 weeks. When he was born, he did not cry and could not eat. He was airlifted to a San Antonia hospital where he remained hospitalized for at least one week. The mother only learned that her child had been harmed during delivery when doctors sat her down and told her that he had cerebral palsy. She learned through her own research that the brain injury had been caused by negligent doctors.

The lawsuit claimed that the doctors used oxytocin to induce labor; however, they failed to notice that the mother’s contractions became overstimulated because of the drug. This caused the baby to go into distress and required an emergency caesarean section. The child is now unable to speak, cannot walk and requires a feeding tube.

At the time the report was released, the hospital would not comment on the settlement. The mother, however, stated that she was happy knowing that there would be money available to care for the child if something should happen to her.

In cases like this, hospital malpractice can have a long-term effect on both mother and child. Those who believe that negligence caused a severe brain injury at birth may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital. Through this lawsuit, the family may seek compensation for hospital bills, future hospital bills and, in some cases, pain and suffering.

Source: Killeen Daily Herald, “Judge: Darnall negligent during birth“, Rose L Thayer, December 05, 2013