Ohio Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Verdict to Stand: Court

An Ohio judge has rejected a request for a new trial in a medical malpractice lawsuit over cerebral palsy, which resulted in a $13.9 million verdict against a doctor who allegedly botched a delivery.  

Attorneys for Dr. Tara Shipman, of Cortland, argued for a new trial iover the delivery of Haley Cobb, a  now 10-year-old girl who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, saying that the jury award was excessive and emotionally driven. However, according to a report last week by Vindy.com, Judge W. Wyatt McKay has entered the judgment in the case, declining to find that there is any need for a new trial due to wrongdoing on behalf of the jury or the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The cerebral palsy lawsuit was filed by Debra and Okey Cobb, Haley’s parents, alleging that Dr. Shipman committed medical malpractice during Haley’s delivery. The family argued that the doctor should have recommended a cesarean section instead of forcing the vaginal birth, which resulted in the birth injury.

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Haley has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. At 10 years old, she is unable to sit on her own and requires around-the-clock care.

In October, a Trumbull County Common Pleas Court jury awarded the Cobb family $13.9 million, finding that Haley’s cerebral palsy was the result of a birth injury caused by Dr. Shipman’s negligence. The verdict follows a $6.5 million settlement that the family reached independently with Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Trumbull Anesthesia Group, Inc. and the estate of Dr. Edmundo Salero. 

Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the infant’s brain 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 associated with cerebral palsy.

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 medical malpractice lawsuits may provide compensation for the child’s disability.


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