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6-Year-Old Awarded $40M in Case of Medical Malpractice

Earlier this year, a jury awarded a 6-year-old girl from Delaware County, Pennsylvania, $40.3 million for injuries she sustained to her spinal cord during birth in a medical malpractice case.  It was one of the largest jury awards in the county in recent years.  

Before birth, the child had been in the footling breech position, in which her feet would have been delivered first.  The lawsuit alleged that the defendant doctor lacked “sufficient training, experience, or qualifications to undertake such a complicated delivery.” The court documents also state that the delivery was conducted “aggressively.”  At trial, the girl’s attorney argued that the doctor did not properly protect the baby’s head and neck during such a high-risk procedure.

As a result of the doctor’s negligence, the young girl is paralyzed from the chest down and is unable to stand on her own.

Unlike in Indiana, Medical malpractice suits are not capped in Pennsylvania.  Of the $40 million award, $30 million will be used for future medical expenses, and $10 million was awarded for pain and suffering. Unfortunately, no amount of money can replace the pain and suffering this little girl will go through for the rest of her life. 

Still, one legal expert says that it is unlikely the family will receive the $40 million award. “Assuming it is not appealed and overturned, the plaintiffs will end up with significantly less than the $40 [million], perhaps as little as 5 percent to 10 percent of that amount,” said Eric Feldman, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at University of Pennsylvania Law School. “It depends in part, of course, on the defendant’s insurance coverage, as well as on the appetite of both parties to negotiate, [and] the plaintiff’s need for cash sooner rather than later.”

There is no excuse for a doctor who performs surgeries below the standard level of care, much less without the proper credentials and experience. 

Since 1988, Theodoros & Rooth, P.C. has been fighting for the injured. Our Northwest Indiana personal injury attorneys have over 110 years of combined legal experience, especially in the area of medical malpractice.  Unfortunately, we have seen firsthand the devastating and life-changing injuries patients have suffered because of medical malpractice.  However, we are proud to fight for victims of medical negligence to get them the justice they deserve.   If you suspect malpractice by a doctor, nurse, hospital or other medical facility, please contact us immediately.   We’ll listen carefully to your story and if we believe you have a case, we will stand by you from beginning to end.