Illinois jury awards $1 million in birth injury case

The family of an Illinois girl who was injured during birth was awarded $1 million by a jury in a medical malpractice case.

The award came after a six-day trial and five hours of deliberation. Bailei Rae has a brachial plexus injury, which limits the movement of her left arm, as well as permanent nerve damage. The jury found that the girls’ injuries were caused by medical malpractice. 

The family’s attorney argued that the obstetrician/gynecologist had excessively tilted the baby’s head or applied excessive downward force during birth. The doctor’s attorney argued that the injury was caused by the forces of labor.

Bailei Rae, age three, made a brief appearance in the courtroom during the trial, so that a treating physician could perform a test to demonstrate that her right arm functions normally, but that she cannot raise her left arm. The physician also stated that Bailei is diagnosed with autism, which is unrelated to her arm injury. He said that Bailei may undergo further surgery, but it will not cure her condition. Instead, future procedures would be attempted to keep her from losing any gains she has made in previous therapy and procedures.

The family argued that because of the baby’s large size, she should have been delivered by Cesarean section.

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