$15.8 Million Verdict Awarded to Michigan Couple for Birthing Injury: Hospital error leads to Baby Jason getting Cerebral Palsy
A young couple from Monroe, Michigan ,has been awarded a $15.8 million verdict as the result of their baby son, Jason, being afflicted with Cerebral Palsy as the result of an error during the final stages of labor.
The jury verdict was reached Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006, in the courtroom of Wayne Circuit Judge Michael F. Sapala.
The jury awarded the $15.8 million to Jason and Julie Lowe for pain and suffering; for past, present and future medical expenses; for loss of earning capacity for the child from age 18 to his life expectancy of age 40; and for attendant care.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, of Livonia, Michigan, represented the parents.
Julie Lowe, age 25 at the time she gave birth to Baby Jason, was in labor with her first child when signs of umbilical cord compressions (known as variable decelerations) showed up on the fetal monitoring strip.
Julie also was not progressing in her labor. Both these signs, stressed Cochran, Kroll & Associates, were warnings to the attending physician and resident that a C-Section should be done instead of letting labor continue.
The second act of negligence occurred when the resident allowed Julie to be disconnected from the fetal monitor to go to the bathroom.
“The monitor was removed for about 10 minutes and during that time additional cord compression occurred, which this time went undetected due to the fact that the fetal monitor was disconnected,” explains Cochran, Kroll & Associates. “The baby compressed against the umbilical cord, cutting off oxygen to the baby, which damaged the brain tissue and caused Cerebral Palsy to develop.”
If the early warning signs had not gone unheeded, and if the mother had not been disconnected from the fetal monitoring device, Baby Jason would have been fine today, said Cochran, Kroll & Associates. Instead the warning signs were ignored, and disconnecting the monitor created a terrible risk that led to an unnecessary tragedy for the young Monroe couple.
“It is very important in the later stages of pregnancy when the mother is in labor to have continuous fetal monitoring because fetal distress can occur at this time. Fetal monitoring is the only way a physician or nurse can know what’s going on with your baby,” says Cochran, Kroll & Associates. “When you remove this device you have no idea whether the baby is suffering any kind of distress.”
Jason, now age 5, will now be able to live a comfortable life and be cared for in the years ahead because of the verdict.
Cerebral palsy describes a group of chronic disorders impairing control of movement that appear in the first few years of life and generally do not worsen over time. The word “cerebral” refers to the brain’s two halves and “palsy” describes any disorder that impairs body movement. Cerebral palsy disorders are caused by faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain that disrupts the brain’s ability to control movement and posture.
The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families. There is no obligation for case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.
A young couple from Monroe, Michigan, was awarded a $15.8 million verdict as the result of their baby son, Jason, being inflicted with Cerebral Palsy as the result of an error during the final stages of a labor.
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