Indiana Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Results in $15M Jury Award

An Indiana jury has awarded $15 million in damages to the family of a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy, finding that a doctor and local hospital are responsible for injuries due to medical negligence during delivery.  

The verdict came following a 10-day trial for a malpractice lawsuit brought by Jamie and Crystal Bobbitt, involving the birth of their daughter, Juliann.

According to allegations raised at trial, the doctor, Mureena Turnquest-Wells, failed to diagnose fetal distress during delivery in 2003 at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

The family alleged that the hospital was understaffed at the time of the birth and botched a fetal blood sampling procedure. According to the lawsuit, continuous ultrasound guidance was not provided, and the staff failed multiple attempts to insert a needle into Juliann’s umbilical cord. The family also claimed that Turnquest-Wells did not get informed consent from the family before starting the procedure and had she properly diagnosed the fetal distress and hastened the delivery, Juliann’s injuries could have been avoided or lessened.

Cerebral palsy involves serious bran 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.

As a result of suffering cerebral palsy from medical malpractice, the family indicated at trial that Juliann requires a feeding tube and has to use a wheelchair. She also cannot speak and receives constant nursing care.

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.

While the jury determined that the daughter needed the $15 million to meet a lifetime of medical care needs, the family may be limited in the amount they can recover under Indiana’s caps on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. According to a report by the Evansville Courier and Press, the family may only receive $1.25 million as compensation for her life-long injuries and disabilities, which could actually cost the family more than 5 times that amount.

Image Credit: |


  • DeborahSeptember 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Good old tort reform!! So now the child gets to be a burden on the taxpayers.

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories