New York family awarded $130 million in birth injury lawsuit


Last month, I wrote that when you or a loved one has been injured by medical negligence, it can be a bad idea to accept a settlement offer without taking time to carefully consider your options. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you determine the best course of action, even if a settlement seems tempting at first.

A great example of this is a New York case that has been making national headlines. It involved a lawsuit against a hospital filed by the parents of a 10-year-old girl who suffers from severe cerebral palsy due to inadequate and negligent perinatal care. On the advice of their attorney, the parents rejected an $8 million settlement offer; and although it took some patience and persistence, the family was eventually awarded $130 million by a jury.

The lawsuit alleged that the staff at a Port Jefferson, New York, hospital failed to notice that the newly delivered baby had been deprived of oxygen at birth. As a result, she now has a severe case of cerebral palsy and cannot walk or speak. She requires 24-hour medical care each and every day.

The attorney convinced the girl’s parents to reject an $8 million settlement offer. When they did, the case went to trial and they lost. The family was devastated and the attorney was mocked in the press.

However, he was tenacious and appealed the verdict. After several years and a lot of struggle, the family was eventually awarded $130 million by a jury. Commenting on the outcome, the attorney said: “This case was a living nightmare for four years, but the family never gave up and I never gave up.”

The girl’s mother added that “the agony of the last 10 years is finally ended with the knowledge that my beloved daughter will be protected for the rest of her life.”

Not every medical malpractice lawsuit ends so triumphantly for the plaintiffs. But this case shows that even if a settlement offer seems lucrative, it may just be a physician’s or hospital’s attempt to avoid paying even more money because they know that they made a preventable and devastating medical error.

For this and other reasons, anyone who has been harmed by medical negligence should seek the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Source: New York Post, “This lawyer turned down $8M… and got them $130M,” Julia Marsh and Bob Fredericks, Apr. 18, 2013

Posted in Birth Injuries | Tagged , , , , |