A jury awarded a large verdict to a West Virginia couple whose son suffered birth injuries leading to cerebral palsy.
After a two-week trial, the jury awarded $55 million to the parents, finding St. Luke’s University Hospital and a doctor liable for the injuries.
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that affects muscle control, body movement, posture, reflexes and balance. It can be caused by damage to the brain during birth.
The lawsuit alleged that the baby was not getting enough oxygen during the November 2009 delivery, but the doctor failed to notice. The baby became stuck in the birth canal, and the mother began hemorrhaging. The doctor allegedly used vacuum extraction to dislodge the baby, resulting in more oxygen deprivation. The lawsuit alleged that the doctor should have used a cesarean section.
The parents claimed that their son suffered permanent injuries as a result of the delay in emergency action. At the age of four, the boy continues to suffer from difficulties in physical movement and language development.
Although the jury awarded $55 million, the family is expected to receive less than that, due to an agreement reached prior to the verdict. The details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
The hospital maintains that it provided adequate care.