Birth injuries and complications can result in heartache and expensive treatments for the rest of a person's life. When a birth injury is caused by a doctor's or hospital's negligence, victims can take legal action against those responsible.
A recent birth injury case is an example of the legal action victims can take. A family filed a medical negligence lawsuit against a military hospital in Honolulu where the mother delivered her baby. The lawsuit claims her baby suffered a "catastrophic brain injury" due to negligent care by the hospital.
The lawsuit alleges the hospital failed to notice the symptoms of a uterine rupture and didn't perform a Cesarean section as quickly as they could have. The pregnant woman had been closely monitored during her pregnancy due to having previous miscarriages as well as a difficult birth with her first child.
The lawsuit says the woman had a risk for a uterine rupture during this pregnancy, and the lawsuit claims the hospital failed to notify her obstetrician who could have consulted during her delivery and care at the hospital. The lawsuit says the hospital's negligence led to her child's severe brain injury, which will require constant care for the rest of his life.
The plaintiffs and the hospital have reached a tentative settlement in the case. The family will receive $9 million from the hospital, with $5 million being paid as a lump sum and another $4 million being paid over the rest of the child's life.
While this case did not happen in Washington, it is an example of the legal action victims can take after a birth injury happens. Hospitals and doctors can be held liable for negligent actions and care, and victims may be able to receive compensation to help pay for medical care and treatment.
Source: Seattle PI, "Lawyers: $9M settlement for boy's cerebral palsy," Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Jan. 29, 2014