Cerebral Palsy Suit in Baltimore City Results in $21M Verdict

A Baltimore City jury awarded $21 million to a Maryland couple whose child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of an alleged mistake during delivery. The verdict comes just over a month after another Baltimore City cerebral palsy lawsuit resulted in a jury award of $55 million. 

Following trial in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Baltimore City, the jury returned this latest verdict on Tuesday in a case filed by the parents of Jaylan Norfleet, who was born prematurely at Harbor Hospital in 2002.

According to the complaint, the child suffered from oxygen deprivation during delivery and the family alleged that doctors at the hospital should have performed a Caesarean section to hasten the birth. As a result of injuries suffered before, during or shortly after the delivery, the now 9 year old child has been diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy that has left him with a life-long disability.

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The jury awarded the family $18 million for Jaylan’s future medical expenses, $2 million for lost potential wages and $1 million for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. However, a Maryland cap on non-ecomonic damages will reduce the total award to about $20.62 million.

Hospital officials have stated that they intend to appeal the verdict, suggesting that the evidence did not support the jury’s decision.

Cerebral palsy is caused by a brain injury 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.

The verdict in the Norfleet case comes shortly after a similar case tried in Baltimore City resulted in a $55 million award against Johns Hopkins, which is believed to be the largest award for medical malpractice in the history of Maryland. The award will be reduced to $26 million under the Maryland damage cap. In that case, the parents of Enzo Martinez alleged that the child suffered severe brain damage during a two hour delay before an emergency Caesarean section was performed.

Both the Norfleet and Martinez cases were tried by the same law firm, Wais, Vogelstein & Bedigian, of Pikesville, Maryland.


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