Many Louisiana couples know the feeling of anxiously awaiting their child’s birth and simultaneously experiencing excitement and uncertainty about the outcome. Of course, parents always hope to take home a healthy baby with 10 each of fingers and toes, but unfortunately, some birth stories do not end this way. Recently, a family in another state reached a settlement in their birth injury lawsuit just before a jury awarded them $30.6 million.
The family had filed the lawsuit against the health care staffing provider who supplied the nurse responsible for monitoring their baby’s heart rate during his 2013 birth. The jury found the nurse negligent in the care and treatment of the baby and his mother. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the $30.6 million award is among the largest awards in a medical malpractice case in that state in recent years. Although the settlement amount is confidential, reportedly, the family will still receive a significant sum.
The family’s attorney explains that the nurse, although she had more than 30 years of labor and delivery experience, failed to use the required device to monitor the baby’s heart rate. According to the attorney, instead of using a continuous fetal heart rate monitor, she used a hand-held device and was actually measuring the mother’s heart rate instead of the baby’s. Apparently, the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck in the birth canal. When he was born, he was not breathing and had almost no heartbeat, a situation that left him with severe brain injuries.
No doubt this family expected that their birth experience would probably run smoothly, and like millions of expectant parents before them, they would return home from the hospital with a happy, healthy newborn. Instead, sadly, their baby is now left with a serious birth injury. In addition to enduring the extreme emotional toll of such an outcome, this family is also now likely facing financial challenges they did not expect to encounter, and the money they will receive in their settlement will provide them some relief. Any Louisiana resident who feels he or she has also been a victim of negligent behaviour on the part of a medical professional may wish to consult with an attorney with experience in this area of the law.