$23 Million Jury Verdict for Baby Who Suffered a Brain Injury Believed to be Largest in History
Several weeks ago, a Charlotte County, Florida jury returned a $23 million dollar verdict against Peace River Regional Medical Center and Michael Coffey, M.D. in a medical malpractice case arising out of a baby girl who was born with a severe brain injury. According to the Complaint that was filed in this matter, in August 2010, the girl's mother presented to the hospital multiple times during her pregnancy with classic signs of a troubled pregnancy - signs that included high blood pressure, high levels of protein in her blood and decreased fetal movement. Despite these warnings signs, the mother did not receive the necessary care and treatment she required. According to the expert obstetricians who testified on behalf of the Plaintiff, these findings required the Defendant health care providers to constantly monitor the health and well-being of the pregnancy, administer steroids designed to prevent a premature delivery. Because these treatments were not provided, Plaintiff's experts alleged that the girl was born nearly 2 months premature. Babies that are born prematurely often experience severe pulmonary (lung) or brain injuries because those organs have not had the proper amount of time to fully develop and/or mature. In particular, the most important time period for the development and maturation of a baby's lungs is between 27 weeks gestation and 37 weeks gestation. Babies that are born without the benefit of this lung maturation often are unable to breathe on their own and/or suffer injuries to their brain and/or other organs because an insufficient amount of oxygen is able to reach those organs. In the present case, the Plaintiff experienced a catastrophic brain injury around the time of her birth, an injury that occurred as the result of deprivation of suitable amounts of oxygen being delivered to the brain. She required hospitalization for the first 4 months of her life and her injuries are permanent. As a result of her injuries, the baby girl (who is four years of age now) must be fed through a feeding tube and must receive constant (24 hour) monitoring for strokes. The jury determined that the doctor was 70% at fault and the hospital was 30% at fault.
At Silverman Thompson, our attorneys routinely handle brain damaged / injured baby cases in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. Injuries that occur to babies around the time of their birth are not only devastating to the baby themselves, but also to the parents and other family members who must care for that individual the rest of their lives. Caring for individuals with severe brain injuries, is a full time job that can be emotionally, physically and financially draining on parents or caregivers. These individuals often require round-the-clock care from trained medical professionals as they cannot be safely left alone. In addition, these individuals will likely never be able to attend school, be gainfully employed or ever live independently. For these reasons, attorneys representing these individuals must be prepared to hire experts in the following professions to fully address the past and future needs for these children: obstetrics, high risk medicine, critical care medicine, life care planning, economics, vocational rehabilitation counseling, etc. At STSW, our lawyers have the experience to pursue these cases and have successfully litigated these cases against hospitals and doctors in the area, often recovering millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Call our office at (410) 385-2225 for a free consultation.