In spring 2023, three birth injury lawsuits concluded with jury verdicts totaling more than $250 million — and two of the cases breaking state and county records for medical negligence awards. Although this compensation will never erase the families’ pain and suffering, it is an important step on their path to healing. Learn more about each child’s birth injury and how legal action helped get them the justice they deserve.
Millions Awarded to Parents and Their Children: Read Their Stories
These verdicts came after families in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Maryland experienced avoidable birth injuries that caused their children to develop lifelong disabilities and other health conditions. By holding medical staff and hospitals responsible for medical negligence, each family was able to find financial assistance to support their child for years to come.
$183 Million Pennsylvania Verdict Is Largest in State History
In 2018, a delivery team at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania waited too long to perform an emergency cesarean section (C-section) when the mother developed an infection in her uterus.
Because the hospital failed to act in time, the infection passed to the baby, causing irreversible damage to their growing brain and nervous system. This led to the child being diagnosed with cerebral palsy and significant developmental delays.
Working with a Pennsylvania birth injury lawyer, the family learned that if their child — now 5 years old — had been delivered only an hour earlier, his injuries could have been avoided.
On April 21, 2023, a Philadelphia jury awarded $183 million to the child and their family for the pain and suffering they endured and their expected lifetime of medical expenses. This is the largest medical malpractice verdict in Pennsylvania, breaking the previous record of $100 million set in 2000 for another child who suffered preventable brain damage.
$40 Million Verdict Breaks Two Records in Illinois
In March 2023, an Illinois family reached the end of their 15-year legal battle against Sarah Bush Lincoln Center with a record-breaking $40 million in damages.
This is the highest reported medical malpractice verdict in the state outside of Cook County and the highest verdict ever in Coles County history.
The family’s daughter suffered preventable brain damage before birth when nurses failed to act after the placenta separated from the mother’s uterus and restricted oxygen to her baby.
The brain damage was so severe that it caused the child to suffer seizures, mild cerebral palsy, and speech and developmental delays. Her family took legal action with the help of an Illinois birth injury lawyer.
The hospital initially offered $3 million to settle the case out of court, but the girl’s family chose to seek a jury trial. Despite their child’s health conditions, the family is confident their now-19-year-old daughter, who was able to graduate high school and get a part-time job, will continue to thrive.
Speaking to WCIA News, her father said, “This verdict is a great relief for our family. … We will never get what most people call normal, but we can finally put this behind us and move forward in securing our daughter’s future.”
Jury Awards Family $34 Million in Maryland Case
A Maryland mother and her son were put through a traumatic and dangerous C-section that caused him to suffer serious brain injuries. The child started showing signs of brain damage shortly after delivery and is expected to need dedicated care for the rest of his life.
The family was awarded nearly $34 million in March 2023. The jury determined that the mother’s doctor and the delivering hospital (University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson) acted negligently when they ordered an emergency C-section at 23 weeks without observing any signs of fetal distress. It was also found that the hospital staff failed to get the mother’s written consent.
The above jury verdict includes compensation for the boy’s past medical expenses, lost earning potential, and future health care costs, as well as for his family’s pain and suffering.
All three of these birth injury lawsuit verdicts are allowing families impacted by medical negligence to seek life-changing treatment for their children.
Do you believe a hospital or health care provider’s negligence may have caused your child’s birth injury? Connect with one of our case managers today for a free legal consultation.
How Can Legal Action Help Families Affected by Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries can have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial impacts on the child and their family. Between adaptive equipment, home modifications, and various types of therapy, the cost of treating complications from a birth injury can be enormous.
This is especially true for children who develop cerebral palsy and other types of permanent disabilities after being injured at birth.
In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the lifetime cost of caring for a child with cerebral palsy to be about $1 million. That amounts to over $1.6 million when adjusted for inflation in May 2023.
Financial security is just one benefit that can come from getting legal help for a birth injury.
Birth injury lawsuits also help families:
- Access ongoing care and support: Children with birth injuries often have coexisting conditions like epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and depression and may need long-term support. With the financial assistance recovered through birth injury lawsuits, parents can better provide for their child’s ongoing care.
- Afford costly adaptive equipment: As technology advances, new types of adaptive equipment are becoming available to children living with disabilities. Birth injury compensation can help families pay for these devices and ease some of their financial burden.
- Hold negligent health care providers accountable: Birth injury lawsuits provide an avenue for parents to seek justice for substandard or negligent care. By pursuing legal action, families can shed light on medical malpractice and help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
If your child suffered a preventable birth injury, you may be able to take legal action and get the compensation you need to provide them with the best possible care. Learn more about your options with a free case review.
A free case review is the first step in pursuing compensation for you and your family.
Who Can File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Families who believe their child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence or other errors at the hands of health care staff may be eligible to file a birth injury lawsuit.
Some examples of medical negligence that can lead to birth injury include:
- Exerting too much force to pull or twist a baby during delivery
- Failing to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and detect fetal distress
- Not taking steps to control tearing or bleeding in the mother
- Not treating infections during or after pregnancy and childbirth
- Misusing birthing tools during a vacuum extraction or forceps-assisted delivery
Medical malpractice laws vary by location, and each state has a statute of limitations that sets a strict time limit for taking legal action. If you believe your child suffered an avoidable injury, it is important to work with an experienced birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Get Help Finding a Trusted Birth Injury Lawyer
Birth injuries are difficult to navigate, and the idea of pursuing legal action may seem even more overwhelming. Thankfully, you do not have to do this alone. The team at the Birth Injury Justice Center is here for you.
We can connect you with some of the best birth injury lawyers in the country. Our legal partners will prioritize your child’s needs and fight for the compensation you deserve.
These recent medical malpractice verdicts prove that children and parents who’ve experienced the damaging effects of birth injuries can find hope with legal help. Contact us today at (800) 914-1562 to see how we can help your family.