New Mexico residents who have found themselves in the middle of a medical malpractice lawsuit may be interested in hearing about a recent case in another state. The family filed a civil suit against multiple defendants after their baby suffered irreparable brain injuries. In this particular case, the jury issued a verdict of almost $30 million after finding that one of the doctors was negligent and veered from the standard of care.

The legal claim was filed in 2011. It states that the defendants failed to do a number of things while the mother and unborn baby were both in their care in 2004. The claim says that the results from tests were not correctly and timely assessed and an emergency cesarean section was not performed when it was clear that it was necessary.

Apparently, the mother was 28 weeks pregnant when she experienced decreased movement of her baby and went to the hospital. She was admitted for observation. In the early evening of the next day, the baby’s heart rate dropped. The on-call doctor was called, but he failed to come in.

Roughly four hours later, the baby’s condition severely worsened, and the mother underwent a C-section. Unfortunately, the baby had been without blood flow and oxygen for an extended period of time, which resulted in permanent brain damage. The girl is now 11 years old and is unable to walk or talk. She has also been deemed legally blind and must use a gastric tube to eat. She also has a tracheotomy, which has to be suctioned several times per hour. 

The jury did not find all the defendants to be guilty of malpractice, but the on-call physician was found to be negligent. As a result, the family received a substantial award that will help them provide adequate care for their daughter after unnecessary harm was done to her and the family as a whole. Although each case is different, New Mexico residents who have suffered brain injuries or have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice may want to consider pursuing a lawsuit of their own. 

Source: masslive.com, “Jury awards nearly $30 million to Holyoke family, says doctor’s negligence caused baby’s permanent brain damage“, Buffy Spencer, Feb. 5, 2016