The damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas and around the country sometimes run into the tens of millions of dollars when the victim is a child that will require around-the-clock medical care for the rest of their life. This was the situation presented to an Illinois jury in a case involving a boy who was born with severe brain damage in 2014. Thye jury responded by awarding $101 million in damages after determining that the Chicago hospital where the child was born acted negligently.
The boy’s mother told the jury that she could not feel her baby moving. The hospital did not pay attention to her pleas and also ignored ultrasound images taken during her six hours of labor that showed the unborn child was not moving. The boy was born so badly injured that he cannot speak or walk and requires assistance just to sit up. Experts at the medical malpractice trail testified that the child would have been born healthy if doctors had ordered a caesarian section.
According to media reports, the damages will be reduced under the terms of an agreement the boy’s mother entered into with the Oak Park hospital before the jury returned its verdict. The mother agreed to cap damages at $50 million and the company that owned the hospital at the time of the incident pledged to not file an appeal. The reports also state that the facility now has a new owner.
Malpractice cases involving birth injuries are sometimes extremely complex, and plaintiffs who prevail often face an appeals process that can drag on for years. This is why personal injury attorneys with experience in this area may seek to settle these cases at the negotiating table. However, when settlement offers are inadequate and evidence of negligence is compelling, attorneys might advise rejecting a negotiated settlement.