The family of a girl, who suffered severe brain damage at birth due to restricted blood flow through her umbilical cord, was awarded $30.5 million by a Georgia jury.
The birth injury lawsuit was filed by Zetah Louis on behalf of her daughter, Re’Ayah, alleging that healthcare professionals failed to handle prenatal umbilical cord complications, quickly and appropriately. As a result, Re’Ayah suffered hypoxic brain injury, leaving the child with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy as well as seizures and delayed development requiring 24-hour care for the rest of her life.
The staff at Gwinnett Medical Center failed to recognize reversal end diastolic blood flow was occurring after an ultrasound in the 35th week of pregnancy, according to evidence presented at the trial. This delayed a crucial C-section delivery by several hours, the evidence showed.
The $30.5 million award by the jury divided the liability between Gwinnett Medical Center bearing 75% and Dr. William Hearin accountable for the remaining 25%. Two other doctors were not found liable and an undisclosed settlement agreement was reached by the medical center prior to the handing down of the verdict.
What is Spastic Cerebral Palsy?
Of the four types of cerebral palsy, athetoid, ataxic, spastic or mixed, spastic cerebral palsy is the most common. It affects one or more of the limbs. When all four limbs are affected as in the case of Re’Ayah Louis, the result is quadriplegia, leaving the child with muscular rigidity so strong that the limbs are immovable. The bones cannot keep up with the muscle growth which is often referred to as hypertonic cerebral palsy. Mental disability commonly occurs with spastic cerebral palsy. The condition is most often developed during gestation, during birth or immediately after. It is a lifelong, debilitating condition that can often be avoided as it is frequently caused by negligence on the part of a medical professional in attendance before, during or immediately after childbirth.
There is Help Available
Finding out that an infant has cerebral palsy, as the result of a brain injury, is tragically heartbreaking and emotionally devastating to the parents and other family members. It means a lifetime of special care, leading to astronomical medical and extended care expenses. Fortunately, parents of cerebral palsy victims are not alone. There are support groups consisting of other parents who are facing the same challenges. There are also skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorneys who will recover the cost of a lifetime of special needs as well as pain and suffering and emotional trauma. If you have a child who was injured due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional prior to, during or following birth, you need to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has successfully recovered significant awards for the families of infants with cerebral palsy and other brain injuries. If you child was injured, speak to an attorney today by calling 727-451-6900. There is no charge or obligation.