Cerebral Palsy Settlement of $9.5M Reached in Birth Injury Malpractice Suit

An Illinois mother has reached a $9.5 million medical malpractice settlement with a hospital, doctor and midwife she alleged were responsible for her son’s cerebral palsy birth injury

Helen O’Came filed the cerebral palsy lawsuit against Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Dr. Jae Eun Han and Mary Traub, accusing the defendants of negligence during the birth of her son, Patrick, and of not having a doctor available during the delivery when one was needed. Patrick O’Came, now 14, suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of a brain injury suffered during birth when he was deprived of oxygen over the last 15 minutes of delivery.

The birth injury malpractice suit alleges that Traub, a nurse midwife, was allowed to perform the birth alone, but was required to have a sponsoring physician available in case of complications during delivery. However, the physician sponsoring Traub, Dr. Han, was in Korea visiting family, and had arranged for another physician to take his place.

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O’Came began experiencing complications during labor and there was a drop in fetal heart rate. Instead of getting a physician, the lawsuit alleged that Traub decided to perform a risky procedure instead of halting the labor and getting help. Patrick’s umbilical cord was compressed, and he was deprived of a significant amount of oxygen.

As a result of the birth injury, Patrick developed cerebral palsy, which is a permanent disability that will require care for the rest of his life. The hospital has agreed to pay $7.5 million, and Traub and Dr. Han will pay $1 million each as part of the cerebral palsy settlement.

Cerebral palsy can be caused by an injury to an infant’s brain before, during or shortly after birth. If the brain of a baby is deprived of oxygen, it can result in irreversible damage that leaves the child with developmental problems, loss of motor functions and other life-long injuries and disabilities associated with cerebral palsy. The condition is also commonly associated with seizures, sensory impairments and cognitive limitation.

Medical malpractice lawsuits for cerebral palsy are often filed when a medical mistake or series of mistakes occur during prenatal care or delivery that result in the child’s brain being deprived of oxygen for an extended amount of time.


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