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Jury returns $21 million in birth injury claim

A number of birth injury lawsuits have been filed in Kentucky, Ohio and the rest of the country where medical malpractice has been alleged. A number of these birth injury claims have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts.

Just recently, a jury in an eastern state brought back a verdict of $21 million. A baby boy was born prematurely, and such a premature birth likely resulted in cerebral palsy.

As in so many such lawsuits, it is claimed that the baby boy was deprived of oxygen while still in the mother's womb while an ongoing and prolonged labor took place. The parents of the boy assert that this all could have been prevented if the hospital had simply performed a timely Caesarean section.

Obviously, the hospital being sued was disappointed with the verdict rendered by the jury. An attorney for the hospital claimed that the jury "didn't care about the evidence."

Without knowing more about the specifics of this case, it's difficult to know if this attorney's opinion is justified. However, most juries do take their role seriously, and jury panels will spend a great deal of time weighing the arguments from both sides. Whatever the reasons for the outcome of such a verdict, it is difficult for juries not to appreciate the significant disabilities a child will suffer when cerebral palsy occurs.

This particular jury ruled that the boy would require $18 million for medical care due to his disabilities. The jury also decided upon $2 million for potential lost wages. Considering the child will likely require a lifetime of care and probably will never be able to hold significant employment, such a verdict seems reasonable.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Jury awards Glen Burnie family $21 million in Harbor Hospital medical case," by Kevin Rector, July 31, 2012

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