Our medical negligence lawyers obtained a settlement having a present cash value of more than $5 million on behalf of a 6-year-old girl who sustained brain damage and cerebral palsy as a result of injuries during birth. The defendant in the case was a national health maintenance organization. The obstetricians employed by the HMO failed to correctly analyze or appreciate signs of fetal distress as reflected in fetal monitoring tapes. Experts in obstetrics and perinatology testified that a timely cesarean section, occurring 45 minutes or more before the actual birth, would have prevented the child from sustaining anoxic brain damage and resulting cerebral palsy.
The defendant HMO claimed that the obstetrical care provided by its doctors was appropriate and within the standard of care. Attorneys for the HMO attempted to prove that the child’s cerebral palsy was not the result of oxygen deprivation during the labor process, but rather the result of an infection that the mother experienced one month before delivery. The settlement amount, when combined with available benefits provided by private insurance and government programs, assured that the child’s medical and special needs would be met regardless of her life expectancy.