Despite the rage to cap medical malpractice damages, there are cases that return higher awards. This case is one of them.
This reported case happened in Norwalk and the jury handed down a $58.6 million award. The case involved an obstetrician who waited too long to do a C-section. The end result was a severely and permanently brain damaged baby, who is now 8 years old and must be fed through a tube, cannot walk or talk, lives life in a wheelchair and is incontinent.
The day the baby boy was born, he was non-responsive, blue and limp. He had seizure activity and was placed on a ventilator. None of this was good news for the parents. The baby has lost oxygen to his brain during the birthing process; a process that the parents said was fraught with medical errors. In their medical malpractice lawsuit, they stated the doctor did not do incision in time in the upper uterine area, delayed the birth by C-section and didn’t allow for space for an atraumatic delivery, typically used in cases of a very low birth weight fetus.
The jury took all the evidence into consideration and handed down $8.6 million in economic damages for past and future are of the child. Additionally, at their discretion, they also awarded $50 million in non-economic damages. If tort reform had been a factor in this case, the damages would have been capped at about $250,000. How would the family have paid for the child’s care? The answer is they would not have been able to pay for his care, and the injustice of being the victim of medical negligence would haunt them every day.
Medical malpractice cases are never easy and many of them take a long time to be resolved. Often the defendants deny they are liable, even if the evidence says otherwise. It’s a long road to justice for many people in situations like this and the trauma of having to sue, combined with the trauma of a severely disabled child, is overwhelming. If tort reform wins the day, people like the parents in this case and their son will suffer every single day for someone’s medical mistake. Where is the justice in that?