The family of a boy born with cerebral palsy has reached a tentative $9 million settlement with the U.S. government after a military hospital allegedly caused the injury due to medical malpractice.
The birth injury lawsuit was filed by the parents of Noah Whitney against Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. According to the allegations raised by the family, Noah was born at the hospital in 2010, and suffered a brain injury during birth because medical staff failed to diagnose a uterine rupture in a timely manner. The settlement was announced late last month in federal court in Honolulu.
The lawsuit claimed that the medical personnel overseeing the mother, Laura Whitney, should have known she was at risk for a uterine rupture because of complications from a previous birth and previous miscarriages. However, the family alleged that when she came to the hospital at 35 weeks pregnant in September 2010, doctors and nurses missed signs of a uterine rupture and took an excessively long time to perform a cesarean section birth.
Noah suffered severe brain damage as a result of the medical malpractice, which has left him with cerebral palsy and the need for 24-hour medical care for the rest of his life, according to the claims presented against the federal government.
The cerebral palsy settlement includes a $5 million lump sum award and an additional $4 million to be paid over time, which are designed to cover the life-time of medical expenses the family will incur.
Cerebral palsy involves serious brain damage that can occur 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.
Although cerebral palsy can occur without a medical mistake, when the exercise of the proper standards of medical care could have prevented the child’s brain from being deprived of oxygen, cerebral palsy negligence lawsuits are often filed to obtain compensation for the child.