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Boy develops cerebral palsy, family gets $9 million from military

Families who receive unacceptable medical care at North Carolina military health care facilities may be able to seek compensation for malpractice. In one case, the family of a Virginia boy has received $9 million after the child developed cerebral palsy because of birth injuries. The family's lawsuit sought compensation after the child suffered catastrophic injury because of physicians' negligence. Official reports show that the family will receive $5 million as a lump sum and $4 million over the remainder of the child's natural life.

The lawsuit alleged that physicians did not notice signs and symptoms indicating that the child's mother had a uterine rupture. That led the physicians to perform a Cesarean section too late. The woman had already been under close monitoring during this pregnancy because she had previously miscarried and suffered a difficult birth for her first child. Physicians on duty at Tripler Army Medical Center allegedly failed to appropriately notify and consult the obstetrician in charge of managing the woman's medical case.

Now, the child requires ongoing, round-the-clock medical care because of the serious injuries suffered during birth. The catastrophic injury has forever changed the lives of the military family. Even though the woman's pregnancy was ostensibly considered high-risk, she did not receive the medical care she so desperately needed during a health emergency.

Victims of such egregious medical errors deserve financial compensation for serious birth injuries. Medical costs associated with cerebral palsy can easily reach into the millions of dollars. Even government entities that cause such serious injury should be held responsible for their role in North Carolina medical malpractice cases.

Source:  Seattlepi.com, "Lawyers: $9M settlement for boy's cerebral palsy" Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Jan. 29, 2014

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