A Memphis jury has awarded $33.5 million in damages to the family of a boy who suffered a cerebral palsy birth injury after there was a delay at the hospital in performing a cesarean section delivery.
The medical malpractice suit was brought by the parents of Jordan Long, who was born on April 28, 2005, after his mother waited six hours for a c-section delivery following tests that showed the baby was under stress and faced a significant risk.
According to allegations raised at trial, Jordan Long suffered a brain injury during the delay that has left him with cerebral palsy, which is a serious and life-long disability affecting motor control and coordination. The condition often results in seizures, sensory impairment and severe cognitive limitations.
The family was represented by the law firm Janet, Jenner & Suggs, which brought the complaint against Dr. Gary Lipscomb and his employer, UT Medical Group, Inc., as defendants.
At trial the family argued that Jordan should have been delivered immediately given the test results. However, the surgery was not scheduled until 3:30 that afternoon. Accord to evidence presented at trial, if Jordan Long had been delivered 15 to 20 minutes earlier, he could have avoided life-long debilitating injuries.
Long suffers from cognitive impairment, and a form of cerebral palsy known as spastic quadriplegia; which hampers the use of arms and legs and the control of bodily functions.
The jury determined that the delay in his birth contributed to his cerebral palsy and found Lipscomb and his employer liable.
While cerebral palsy can occur in the absence of a medical mistake, some of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in several states involve cases where families allege that a child developed cerebral palsy from a mistake made before, during or shortly after birth. If there is a delay in the delivery or another mistake made that results in the baby being deprived of oxygen at a crucial point during the delivery process, it can result in the development of cerebral palsy.