New York Family Is Awarded One Of The Highest Known Medical Malpractice Verdicts


Sometimes complications occur during labor. A baby can be in distress, oxygen could be cut off to the baby’s brain when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck or if the baby is in the birth canal for too long, or mistakes can occur from the use of forceps or vacuum extraction. When such problems occur it is up to the doctors and nursing staff to recognize immediately that the baby is in danger. Once the danger is recognized, steps need to be taken to protect the baby and ensure that the delivery is normal. However, there are times where doctors and hospital staff do not proved the baby and the mother with proper monitoring and planning and an emergency that otherwise would not have happened occurs. Birth injuries that can result from unnecessary birth trauma include cerebral palsy, brain injury, seizures, and facial paralysis.

A family in Long Island, New York, who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against St. Charles Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Port Jefferson (St. Charles), has been awarded $130 million, of which $92.5 million is for past and future pain and suffering. The attorney for the family had originally turned down an $8 million settlement, and then lost at trial. After losing at trial, the appellate court reversed the verdict and the case went to another trial. The second trial ended in a hung jury. At the third and most recent trial, the attorney was able to win the much higher judgment for the family.

The family’s attorney managed to persuade the jury that St. Charles was responsible for the mistakes that were made during the delivery of the family’s daughter, Shannon. The jury found that St. Charles did not meet the accepted obstetrical practice during the birth of Shannon. As a result, Shannon was deprived of oxygen just prior to her birth. The family’s attorney claims that had the nursing team contacted the obstetrician sooner, and had the baby delivered, the tragedy would not have occurred. These mistakes left Shannon with cerebral palsy. Now, the girl cannot speak, walk, write, or swallow without aid and needs constant medical care.

The hospital’s attorney is going to ask the trial to set aside the verdict and request a new trial.

Trauma resulting from poor medical care during deliver can result in devastating and a lifetime of disability. The cost of future medical care can be extremely expensive. It is very important that if careless medical care is suspected to be the cause of a birth injury that an attorney is contacted immediately.

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