When it comes to medical malpractice resulting in birth injuries, there may be no way to undo the harm – and no amount of money that could ever fully compensate the injured person – for the way in which their life has changed.
That said, it’s necessary to pursue action against doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals who may have failed to act according to the standard of care for their position, thus resulting in serious and lifelong injury to the patient. Victims of medical malpractice may suffer lifelong damages, and could require extensive future care and medical treatment, not to mention the loss of wages and earning potential and life enjoyment.
Recently, a Fort Myers medical malpractice birth injury lawsuit resulted in a $2.3 million settlement stemming from a case involving a premature baby who suffered a brain injury and amputation in four years ago.
According to The News-Press, the boy was born at home, 12 weeks prematurely before being taken to the hospital. Plaintiff alleges that once the child arrived, nurses at the site negligently inserted a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter). That line, which was erroneously placed, soon thereafter began to show signs that the blood flow was impeded. Nonetheless, it remained there for a full week. Within six days, the baby’s fingertips were shriveled and his fingertips black. He was then transported to a children’s hospital in Miami, where his arm had to be amputated.
From there, doctors noted there were signs of decreased blood flow to the baby’s brain, something that was not shown to be the case before that PICC line was inserted. This has resulted in permanent brain damage, plaintiffs alleged.
Although the hospital never fired anyone in the matter, it did ultimately agree to the $2.3 million settlement, which did not require the hospital to admit fault. The settlement is especially noteworthy because under Florida statutes, governmental organizations like this one can only be compelled to pay up to $300,000 unless state lawmakers pass a claims bill to award a higher amount to an individual claimant.
One such recent case locally involved a case where a jury in 2007 found Lee Health liable to pay $15 million to the family of a boy born with cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice.
In spite of this most recent settlement with the local hospital system, claims against the doctors and nurses involved – who were employed by a separate contracted medical group based in Sunrise – is still pending. That same group is facing two other similar (but unrelated) medical malpractice cases involving Florida birth injury cases. One of those also took place in Lee County, where it is alleged a baby born 16 weeks premature died as a result of doctors who failed to perform certain tests and treatments.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely complex, and should not be trusted to just any law firm. These claims deal with highly technical medical evidence, and the lifetime costs involved in these cases can be staggering. Defendants will often argue that services outlined in life care plans (meticulously mapped-out plans for medical procedures, medicine, therapy, equipment and other services the child will need into adulthood) are not necessary. However, these arguments are rooted in the belief that only the child’s most basic needs should be met. The fact is, the damage inflicted by negligent health care providers can be extremely costly, but it’s not the patient who should have to pay for it.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Golisano Children’s Hospital pays $2.3M to settle a lawsuit over a brain-damaged newborn, June 16, 2017, By Frank Gluck, The News-Press