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Jury Awards $8.5 Million to Family of Girl Born With Brain Damage

In a medical malpractice case, an Ontario appeals court recently affirmed a lower court's award of $8.5 million to the family of a severely brain-damaged woman. Born with cerebral palsy, the woman nearly died at birth due to a nurse's failure to properly monitor her heartbeat during labor. Lawyers for the family said that the nurse didn't measure her heartbeat often enough to detect oxygen deprivation over a period of one to three hours.

The woman, now grown, lives in an assisted care facility and depends on her family for care and financial support. Family members said the award ensures quality care for the rest of her life.

Similar birth injuries happen in the United States. In 2000, a New York jury awarded $12.2 million to the family of a man who was born with severe brain damage. The jury found that a doctor's failure to deliver the baby immediately after the mother's water broke caused her son to be born with cerebral palsy.

In a 2010 New York trial, the family of a deceased woman received $2.2 million from the insurance carriers of three obstetricians. At birth, the obstetricians failed to perform a caesarean section, despite nurses' warnings of the baby's abnormal heart rate. As a result, she was born with cerebral palsy and severe head trauma. Seven years later, she died from a seizure related to her injuries.

Just last year, a Pennsylvania jury awarded $21.6 million to a family whose son was born with cerebral palsy caused by nurses' failure to monitor his heart rate. Most of the award was for the past, present and future expenses related to his medical care.

Children born with cerebral palsy and other birth injuries are often dependent on their families for medical care for the rest of their lives. While jury awards and settlement amounts vary depending on the severity of injury, the families of injured or deceased children are generally entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and medical costs. For more information after you or a loved one suffers a birth injury, speak with an experienced birth injury attorney.


Located in Philadelphia, Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., home of MyPhillyLawyer, serves clients in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

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