Acts of medical malpractice can have serious, lifelong consequences for the victims. This is never more true then when it comes to malpractice claims involving childbirth. A child who is injured during the delivery process can sustain permanent physical or mental injuries that render them unable to live a normal life.
Illinois Hospital Agrees to Forego Appeal, Pay Family $50 Million Instead
And when it comes to dealing with an actual medical malpractice lawsuit, juries are not sympathetic towards doctors and hospitals who make birthing errors. For example, a recent malpractice case from Chicago made national headlines when a jury returned a $101 million verdict in a case involving a child who suffered severe brain damage during childbirth. Although the defendants will only end up paying half of that amount, the verdict itself is believed to be an Illinois state record for a medical malpractice case.
The victim, in this case, is a now-five-year-old child, Gerald Sallis, who was born at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois. According to evidence presented at trial, Sallis’ mother went to Oak Park during the 34th week of her pregnancy, worried that her then-unborn child was not moving. The evidence went on to show that despite the mother’s statements, the hospital staff did not call for a doctor and failed to properly monitor the fetus’ oxygen for approximately six hours.
Expert witnesses retained by Sallis’ mother testified that had nurses properly alerted the doctors at West Suburban, they would have performed an emergency Cesarean section. This would have allowed Sallis to be born without further complications. Unfortunately, due to this negligent lack of communication between the staff, Sallis was born with brain damage.
Now, five years later, Sallis’ mother told CBS 2 in Chicago that her child requires round-the-clock care and “just isn’t a normal person.” Sallis cannot speak or otherwise care for himself.
Sallis’ mother filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in Cook County (Chicago) Circuit Court, naming West Suburban and a number of individual staff members as defendants. Following a month-long trial, a jury of six men and six women held the defendants’ negligence caused Sallis’ birth injuries and awarded damages of $101 million. According to the family’s personal injury lawyer, this nearly doubled the prior record of $53 million for a medical malpractice verdict in Illinois.
Prior to the verdict, all parties agreed that if the jury awarded more than $50 million, the defense would pay that amount to Sallis’ family and forego any appeal.
Contact the Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Tittle & Perlmutter Today
No amount of money can ever compensate a family for the loss of their child’s ability to live a normal life. But cases like this still illustrates the importance of holding negligent healthcare providers accountable for completely preventable birth-related injuries. If you or your family have faced a similar situation and need advice from an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice attorney, contact Tittle & Perlmutter today at (216) 308-1522.