A Harrisburg federal judge has ruled that the parents of a baby who suffered brain damage during delivery are to be paid $42 million by the U.S. government, due to the state-employed doctor’s unnecessary use of forceps while performing the birth. The judge ordered the compensation to the parents based on their projected future economic losses and those of the child based on the severe brain damage the infant suffered during delivery. This ruling closely follows another suit in which the government was made to pay out $4 million due to another birth injury. These cases may see a new precedent set for compensation awarded to families that experience a birth injury.
The fault for the incident was laid on the obstetrician who performed the delivery, which took place at a federally-funded Women’s Center. The doctor’s negligence was determined by the judge to be a direct and substantial factor for causing the child’s injuries. The breakdown for the damages awarded to the parents includes over $9 million for estimated costs of future care, including therapy, surgery, and treatment at care facilities, as well as roughly $32 million in economic damages due to the loss of potential earnings.
Ramifications of the Brain Injury
These projected potential earnings were based on three estimates, depending on which level of education would have been obtained – a high school diploma, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree. The parents presented all three cases to the judge, who opted for the two-year degree. She did not explain her reasoning behind the decision, but did state that she felt the compensation was justified due to the child’s lost future earnings, as well as benefits he would have accrued from employment.
The judge went on to note that the child had already endured pain and suffering, and that he will continue to experience embarrassment, humiliation, and the loss of opportunities and common pleasures due to his condition, and that he will suffer for the entirety of his life. Because of the severity and permanence of the injuries, he cannot reasonably be expected to perform even the most basic life functions. The lawsuit proved successful despite the defense’s attempts at downplaying the severity of the injuries, and trying to make the prosecution’s requests of compensation appear too far-reaching.
Chester County Injury Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Families of Birth Injury Victims
If your family has been affected by birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Having strong legal representation can make forming and pursuing a case significantly more effective. Our team of Chester County injury lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC are dedicated to providing high quality representation for all clients. Call 215-569-8488 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Philadelphia, Abington, or Media, Pennsylvania, Haddonfield, New Jersey, or Wilmington, Delaware.