$78 Million Awarded in Birth Injury Lawsuit

For many people, there is no happier occasion than the birth of a child.  Unfortunately, not every birth goes perfectly, and an infant or mother may suffer from serious complications.  While certain birth defects are unavoidable, obstetrical error can lead to severe birth injuries during labor and delivery.  Inadequate fetal monitoring, unnecessary use of forceps or vacuum extraction, lack of appropriate maternal care or prenatal care, and other failures of the nurses, obstetrician, technicians, or anesthesiologists leading to birth injury is considered medical malpractice.  If your family has suffered from stillbirth, traumatic brain injury or brain damage, cerebral palsy, Erb's palsy (brachial plexus injury),  nerve damage, fractures, or other preventable birth injury, consult an Oklahoma birth injury lawyer to find out how to get the compensation you deserve. Compensation awarded in birth injury lawsuits generally considers the costs of lifelong care of a severely disabled person.  Recently, a jury awarded $78 million to the family of a baby girl who was born with serious brain damage after a hospital failed to adequately monitor the health of the baby and perform an emergency cesarean section in a timely manner.  The baby girl, now three years old, suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy as a result of oxygen deprivation prior to delivery. In the case, Victoria Upsey, 36 weeks pregnant with the child, arrived at the hospital with signs of placental abruption.   The attending physician conducted an ultrasound and informed Upsey that no fetal heartbeat could be found, and that the child had died.  Upsey, however, insisted that she could still feel her child kicking.   Nearly an hour later, an ultrasound technician arrived at the hospital and conducted an ultrasound using newer equipment.  The trained technician found the child's heartbeat, and the mother was rushed into surgery for a c-section birth.  Unfortunately, the fetus had been deprived of oxygen for approximately 81 minutes while the hospital insisted that the child had died and the mother continued to argue for the health of her baby. The lawsuit alleged several failures by the hospital.  First, they were accused of utilizing outdated ultrasound equipment that had not been serviced in a decade, despite the machine's manual requiring annual maintenance.  Furthermore, the ultrasound technician who finally discovered the baby's heartbeat was brought in from home, because the hospital did not staff a trained technician on Sundays. A jury determined that the hospital was negligent in failing to adequately staff the hospital with appropriate technicians, in failing to utilize modern technology, and in failing to adequately maintain hospital diagnostic equipment.  Had fully trained technicians been available at the hospital, using properly-working equipment, the jury decided, a c-section would have been performed in a timely manner, preventing oxygen deprivation to the baby.  The $78 million award compensates the Upsey family for pain and suffering for the mother and baby (now and in the future) and for a lifetime of specialized care and treatment for the severely disabled girl.

Comments