Brain-Injured Wisconsin Boy And His Mother Win $23.3 Million In Medical Malpractice Case


Posted on 29th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Wisconsin jury has awarded $23.3 million in a medical malpractice case involving a boy who suffered brain damage, and now has cerebral palsy, after a doctor delivered him with forceps five years ago, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Milwaukee County jury rendered the verdict last Thursday against Dr. Donald Baccus and the Injury Patients and Families Compensation Fund on behalf of plaintiffs Laron Birmingham, 5 years old, and his mother Kishia Lee. But the panel cleared St. Joseph Regional Medical Center of any negligence in the case.

Baccus’s attorney told the Journal Sentinel that he plans to appeal the verdict.

During the trial, which began May 10, the plaintiffs argued that because Lee had prolonged labor and was having other problems in May 2005, Baccus should have performed a Cesarian section delivery.

Baccus didn’t do the C-section, but instead had a medical resident deliver Yaron using forceps, and that instrument injured the newborn’s brain.

As a result of that brain damage, Laron had cerebral palsy, and will never be able to live on his own or get a job, according to testimony at the trial.

The award will compensate Laron for his past and future medical bills; his pain A Wisconsin jury has awarded $23.3 million in a medical malpractice case involving a boy who suffered brain damage, and now has cerebral palsy, after a doctor delivered him with forceps five years ago, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Low Umbilical Cord pH Levels Linked To Brain Damage, Cerebral Palsy In Newborns


Posted on 18th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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New research has found that babies who are born with high acidity in their umbilical cords appear to be at a higher risk for cerebral palsy, brain damage and infant death.

The study’s findings, out of research done at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital in England, were reported online by the journal BMJ. 

 When a baby doesn’t receive adequate oxygen during delivery, its umbilical cord blood pH declines. This condition, called hypoxia, is the most common cause of brain damage, mainly among premature and very tiny babies, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. But there had not been any direct connection established between a low pH reading in umbilical cord blood and complications like brain damage.

For this research, Dr. Gemma Malin combed through and combined the results of 51 studies regarding low-umbilical cord pH, studies that covered nearly 500,000 children. The results of the studies were similar despite the wide variety of ways they were conducted, namely that there was a consistent and strong link between pH levels and infant death, cerebral palsy and brain damage.

An editorial was published along with the study in the BMJ, and it urged careful surveillance of infants that have low umbilical cord pH.  

“Malin and colleagues’ systematic review of observational data suggests that a strong association exists between low umbilical artery pH at birth and major adverse outcomes including death, hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (usually manifesting as neonatal seizures), potentially serious brain abnormalities identified by imaging (periventricular leucomalacia or intraventricular haemorrhage), and cerebral palsy,” the editorial said.

 “Ultimately, given the findings of this study, we should aim to reduce the number of babies born with a low cord pH, without increasing unnecessary obstetric intervention. Hopefully this can be achieved by more hands-on input to labour ward care by fully trained obstetric specialists for some time have thought that acidity of the blood was linked to potential problems with newborns, but only the new study found a definitive connection between pH levels and adverse conditions such as brain damage.”


St. Vincent’s Hospital Closure In New York Leaves Those With Malpractice Suits In ‘Legal Limbo’


Posted on 13th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan has closed, creating a quandary for hundreds of plaintiffs that have medical malpractice suits pending againt the shuttered facility, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

These New Yorkers, an estimated 260 people, have been left in what The News calls “legal limbo” in terms of their litgation against the now bankrupt hospital.

 These victims may never collect damages against St. Vincent’s, because the hospital’s assets are now in Bankruptcy Court. 

The pending lawsuits include cases where babies suffered brain damage during delivery, according to The News. 

St. Vincent officials decided to close the hospital, creating a furor in its Greenwich Village neighborhood, because the facility is in debt for $1 billion. The hospital then filed for bankruptcy.

The News reported that St. Vincent’s was self-insured against medical malpractice suits, and had set up a trust fund to pay for successful claims.       

But that fund “is underfunded by $150 million to $250 million — and its holdings would first be doled out to priority creditors rather than potential victims,” according to The News.  

A number of the malpractice suits are either in the pretrial or trial stage.

So these the unfortunate familes of victims, those who died and those still living, have no recourse, and must bide their time to see if St. Vincent’s real estate generate enough money to ultimately reach them.    

Ex-NFL Star Awarded $11.5 Million For Career-Ending Toe Injury


Posted on 13th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A hurt toe has translated to a $11.5 million verdict for an ex-football player whose promising career was cut short by the injury.

Former Miami Dolphins player Otis J. McDuffie won his case against the team’s physician, Dr. John Uribe. The claims that McDuffie had against other physicians who treated him and two hospitals were settled prior to the medical malpractice trial involving Uribe.

After three hours of deliberations, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court jury in Florida rendered the judgment for McDuffie.  It awarded him $10 million for lost wages from 2001 through 2004; $750,000 for past pain and suffering; and $750,000 for future pain and suffering.         

 “O.J.” McDuffie was a football star both in college and  in the National Football League. At Penn State, he set single-season as well as receiving records. The Dolphins drafted him in the first round in 1992, and he became a starting wide receiver. In 1998 McDuffie was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.

But that success came to a halt in November 1999, when the Dolphins were playing the New England Patriots. McDuffie was tackled and he hyperextended the big toe on his left foot. The player left the field and Dr. Uribe  examined him and taped his toe.  The physician then sent MCDuffie back into the game.

McDuffie had heard a pop when he first hurt his toe, and when he was sent back to the field he heard that pop a second time, and left the field once again. This time,  Dr. Uribe gave McDuffie a needle to stifle his pain, taped the toe again and sent the player back out to play again.   

At the malpractice trial, McDuffie testified that Dr. Uribe never informed him of the results of  MRIs that found that he had raptured the ligaments in his toe. And the team physician told McDuffie to keep on playing and practicing, according to the athlete. 

Months later a new team doctor sent McDuffie to a foot and ankle physician, who suggested the player have surgery. But during this period McDuffie was still playing ball with his ruptured ligaments, and as a result he sustained irreversible joint-surface damage.

When McDuffie finally had his surgery, but he still developd arthritis in his toe, which put an end to his football career. The Dolphins let him go in 2002.

During the trial Dr. Uribe’s lawyer argued that pro football players often ask doctors to minimize their pain so they can continue playing, and not lose any pay for missing games.


Jury Awards $18.5 Million In New Jersey Cerebral Palsy-Birth Malpractice Case


Posted on 1st May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The family of a 12-year-old New Jersey boy, who developed cerebral palsy after his emergency Caesarean-section was delayed, last week was awarded $18.5 million by a jury against Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.

The medical malpractice judgment was not only against the hospital but also Dr. Joan Lieser, a Springfield, N.J., obstetrician.

During a trial in Essex County, jurors heard testimony about the birth of Darius Morgan of Middlesex County, N.J. In 1998, Beth Israel was too slow to do an emergency Caesarian-section on his mother. Because of that delay, Morgan now has cerebral palsy, the family attorney had argued.

If Morgan had been born a mere eight minutes earlier, he would have been healthy, according to trial testimony. Now, he needs to be taken care the rest of his life.

Morgan’s mother had filed suit against Beth Israel in 2002, but she died in 2004. The boy was adopted by his great aunt and current legal guardian, Darlene Kim, in 2007.

Saint Barnabas Health Care System, which oversees Beth Israel, declined to comment on the judgment to The Ledger.