Lehigh Valley Family Awarded $4.1 Million Verdict After Daughter’s Severe Birth Injury
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on September 27th, 2013
As an Easton woman prepared to give birth to her daughter in August 2009, she discovered through a sonogram test that the fetus in her womb already weighed some 10 pounds. The woman shared her concerns about the large size of the infant with her doctor, but received reassurances from him that all would be well during childbirth.
But four days later, when the woman, Erin McCarthy, went into labor on Aug. 23, 2009, problems due to the large size of the baby cropped up, leading to a complicated delivery that involved the child being deprived of oxygen for more than three minutes, according to a story in The Legal Intelligencer.
That delay ultimately led to the baby suffering from mild cerebral palsy and permanent psychological injuries, according to the story, in a case which recently resulted in a $4.1 million jury verdict on Sept. 9 on behalf of the family after the mother sued the doctor for medical malpractice.
After being admitted to Lehigh Valley Medical Center, the baby was still not delivered after some 15 hours, according to the report. After another 45 minutes, her doctor, obstetrician Dr. Garry C. Karounos, attempted to use forceps to deliver McCarthy’s daughter vaginally, but the infant became stuck in the birth canal, leading to a three-and-a-half-minute delay in delivering her body once her head was exposed.
When the infant, who is now four years old, was finally delivered, “a neonatal intensive care unit had to be brought in to resuscitate her,” according to the story. She was then transferred to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, where she was treated using various techniques to try to mitigate her injuries.
An obstetrics expert, Dr. Henry K. Prince, testified for the plaintiffs that had the woman’s doctor performed a C-section, the large baby would have been delivered without incident and she would not have been deprived of oxygen, the story reported.
“Karounos testified that at this point he offered to perform a Cesarean section, but nothing in the medical chart and no one else present at the time supported this claim, the plaintiff’s memorandum said,” according to The Legal Intelligencer story.
In addition to her other existing injuries, the child now has also shown signs of speech delay and other issues, the report states.
The jury in the case awarded more than $2.1 million for the baby’s injuries, including about $160,000 for past medical expenses and $1 million each for past and future non-economic damages. McCarthy was separately awarded almost $2 million for her own injuries, which included a serious vaginal laceration, including about $6,500 in past medical expenses, $64,000 in past lost earnings, $550,000 in future lost earnings, $650,000 in past non-economic losses and $650,000 in future non-economic losses, according to the story.
A report in The (Allentown) Morning Call said that McCarthy’s injuries left her incontinent and unable to work.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer deal with these kinds of cases regularly and we stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a birth injury case anywhere in the United States. We pledge to make sure that your child gets the proper medical care needed to maximize the child’s potential from that point forward. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
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