$20M Medical Malpractice Settlement to Family of Brain-Damaged Child
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on April 29th, 2016
The family of a three-year-old San Diego, Calif., girl who was the victim of a nursing error in a hospital four days after she was born in January 2013 will receive a $20 million settlement to pay for her continuing medical care.
The girl, whose name was withheld to protect her identity, was born five weeks prematurely and was placed in a newborn intensive care unit (ICU), where four days later her mother found her “pale and lifeless” when she went to see the baby, according to an April 13 story by KGTV Channel 10 News in San Diego. The baby was premature but healthy when she was born.
When her mother found the infant in the ICU, the baby’s diaper was soaking wet, “as if a pitcher of water had been poured into it,” the mother told the TV station. “On the floor was a puddle of water, which turned out to be a leak from the [baby’s] feeding bag,” which was connected to the child via a tube.
The mother quickly notified a nurse and medical personnel responded, the story reported. Later it was determined that there had been a “human error” involving the baby’s feeding tube, which accidentally overloaded the infant with food, and in turn overloaded her internal systems, the story reported.
“This was a nursing error,” the family’s attorney told the TV station. “The machine was not calibrated or put on correctly, so that certain amounts of food went into [the] child. The child was overloaded with glucose, which caused an electrolyte imbalance. That changed the composition of the blood such that oxygen can’t get to the brain.”
The child developed cerebral palsy from the incident, leaving her struggling to walk and speak, according to her family. The baby will require around-the-clock care for the rest of her life, the story reported.
Her family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit due to the incident and the $20 million settlement that resulted is apparently the largest ever such settlement in California history, according to the story. The name of the hospital and medical personnel who were involved were not released due to a confidentiality clause in the settlement.
The family told the TV station that they hope “the settlement will lead to additional safeguards in all hospitals” for important procedures including hooking up a feeding bag and double-checking and documenting it.
These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.
That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. 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.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
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.
When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.