$26M Awarded In Birth Injury Lawsuit Over Child Born Deaf

A medical malpractice lawsuit ended in a $26 million verdict late last month, over allegations that a birth injury that left a girl deaf and may have resulted in the death of her twin sister less than a month after their birth. 

The complaint was filed by Danielle Madden-Buck whose daughter, Aleigha Buck, was born deaf and with other health problems when her mother went into labor less than 30 weeks into her pregnancy. The birth injury is blamed on Maimonides Medical Center, according to allegations presented in the lawsuit and outlined in a press release issued by her attorneys.

Madden-Buck indicates that the medical center failed to provide her with proper care during her pregnancy, when she began to show signs of preterm labor only 21 weeks into her pregnancy. She was sent home from the hospital twice in February 2010, after complaining about painful cramping and discharge, and later testing revealed that her cervix shortened.

Aleigha, now seven years old, was born deaf and mute later in the month of February 2010. She requires the use of hearing aids and communicates through sign language. Her sister, Madelyn, died less than a month after being born.

Following a month-long trial, a jury in Brooklyn, New York, awarded the mother and child $20 million for future pain and suffering, $4 million for previous pain and suffering, and $1.6 million in future lost wages. The verdict also included $500,000 for the wrongful death of Madelyn Buck.

Hospital officials said that the Madden-Buck and her unborn children were provided with excellent care and indicate that the facility disagrees with the jury’s judgment.

However, the decision cannot be appealed by the defendant, because of an agreement between the parties that set minimum and maximum limits on any resulting verdict.

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