Birth Trauma Results in $13 Million Award
In a lawsuit filed against Genesys Regional Medical Center in Michigan, a jury awarded Libbey Bryson, the 38-year old mother of a now five-year old daughter nearly $13 million. On September 9, the jury found that the hospital was responsible for an injury and trauma to the child, born on January 1, 2008, that resulted in the child losing partial use of her right arm.
According to court documents, the injury to Bryson's daughter occurred when doctors pulled down hard on the almost nine pound baby's head during delivery. The child's right arm was caught on the mother's pelvic bone, and when she was pulled, the nerves controlling her right arm were severed. The injury has led to undergo multiple subsequent surgeries, as well as the child having to wear a brace on her malformed right arm.
Genesys argued that the injury to the child was part of the natural birth process and hinted that it would appeal the verdict. According to Bryson's attorney, the hospital should have performed a cesarean section or used a delivery method that would have caused less strain on the newborn. However, the hospital states that Bryson received appropriate treatment, that no cesarean was requested, and that there were no indications in early labor that an emergency cesarean was necessary. The hospital also claims that doctors used standard techniques during delivery, and that the injury to the child was an unfortunate accident.
Genesee Circuit Judge Joseph J. Farah said that the reward was the largest a jury has returned in his eight years on the bench. Bryson's attorney, Brian McKeen, said that the award would more than likely be reduced to $4 million, once it is forced to comply with state law that limits non-economic damages at $433,400. In addition, the state requires awards to be reduced to a present cash value that, when invested, would offset future economic losses for the child. Without reducing the amount, Bryson and her daughter could receive excessive payments for damages.
When a medical error is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in a birth injury that causes permanent damage or even death, a medical malpractice claim may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding a birth injury where damage may have been caused or worsened by the actions of medical personnel.