Infant Brain Damage Lawsuit Over Birth Injury Results in $30.5M Verdict

A Georgia jury has awarded $30.5 million to the family of a girl who suffered severe brain damage at birth, resulting in cerebral palsy, due to restricted blood flow through her umbilical cord. 

The verdict comes in a birth injury lawsuit filed by Zetah Louis, on behalf of herself and her daughter, Re’Ayah, which alleged that health care professionals failed to quickly and appropriately deal with umbilical cord complications during prenatal care.

According to evidence presented at trial, the staff at Gwinnett Medical Center failed to recognize reversal end diastolic blood flow was occurring after an ultrasound in the 35th week of pregnancy, delaying a crucial C-section delivery by several hours. As a result, Re’Ayah suffered hypoxic brain injury, which left the child with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, as well as seizures and developmental delays.

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The infant brain injury has left the child with the need for 24-hour care for remainder of her life.

A Gwinnett County jury awarded the family $30.5 million, with 75% of the liability placed on Gwinnett Medical Center and 25% blamed on Dr. William Hearin. Two other doctors were not found liable, and the medical center reached an undisclosed settlement agreement before the verdict was handed down.

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that is usually attributed to brain damage suffered before, during or shortly after birth. A lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain may result in the irreversible damage that leaves them with a life-time disability, including limitations on motor function and other developmental problems.

In many cases, cerebral palsy is caused by a medical mistake, where the child’s brain was deprived of oxygen at, during or before birth.

While cerebral palsy may occur without an error, when the exercise of the proper standards of medical care could have prevented the child’s brain from being deprived of oxygen, parents may be able to investigate potential cerebral palsy negligence lawsuits earlier, to determine whether financial compensation may be available for the child.


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