Florida Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Results in $4M Award Over Delayed Delivery

A jury awarded $4 million on Monday in a Florida cerebral palsy lawsuit filed on behalf of an 11-year old girl who suffered brain damage at birth as a result of a several hour delay in the hospital securing an operating room for her delivery.

The lawsuit was filed by the parents of Jordan Preshong Brown, who was born in July 1997 at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Jordan’s mother was carrying twins when she was admitted to the hospital with premature contractions. A few weeks after the other twin died in utero, an emergency c-section was required for Jordan because she was in fetal distress.

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The birth malpractice lawsuit alleged that the hospital was negligent in causing Jordan to develop cerebral palsy and mental retardation because they were unable to secure an operating room for the Cesarean section until several hours after it was first needed. As a result, Jordan’s brain was deprived of oxygen, causing permanent brain damage.

Cerebral palsy is a life-long disability which involves disorders of movement control and muscle coordination. It is caused by brain damage that occurs before, during or immediately after birth, and it is commonly associated with seizures, sensory impairments and cognitive limitation.

Although the hospital maintained that the Jordan Preshong Brown’s cerebral palsy was caused by her premature delivery, and not their negligence, the jury disagreed. Good Samaritan Hospital, Inc, which owned the West Palm Beach hospital at the time of the delivery, was found liable for birth injury and ordered to pay $4 million in compensation.

While many cases of cerebral palsy are not tied to a medical error, every year thousands of children suffer brain damage during birth that is caused by a doctor, hospital or nurse failing to follow the proper standards of medical care during labor and delivery. Successful cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuits typically involve damages of several million dollars, given the high costs of providing a life-time of care for the child.

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