The Becker Law Firm is pleased to announce that Partners Michael Becker and David Skall settled a Federal Tort Claims Act case for $3.76 million on behalf of a family whose child was injured at birth.
The lawsuit, which was brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) because the defendant obstetrical practice was a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) which received funding from the federal government, alleged that a delayed C-section resulted in increased fetal distress, bilateral intraventricular hemorrhages (IVH), and permanent structural brain damage to the baby. The child, who is now 5 years old, has disabling cerebral palsy as a result of his injuries.
Prior to giving birth, the mother had developed essential hypertension and had serial monitoring in the third trimester with largely reactive non-stress tests (NSTs). Just beyond 36 weeks gestation, she presented with decreased fetal movement, the NST result changed to become non-reactive, and the baby was found to be growth restricted (IUGR) and at risk of intolerance to labor.
The mother was immediately admitted to the co-defendant hospital for additional testing, namely a biophysical profile (BPP) that was equivocal. Significant decelerations of fetal heart rate then started and increased thereafter.
Rather than appreciating the evolving fetal distress and performing a prompt C-section, Partners Becker and Skall argued, the attending obstetrician of the FQHC and nurses monitored the deteriorating fetus for another eight hours before starting an induction of labor that seriously worsened the fetal heart rate. The providers made a belated decision for an urgent C-section, but it was soon discovered that the child had suffered a severe IVH that led to his brain damage and permanent disability.
Ultimately, Partners Becker and Skall were able to negotiate a $3.76 million settlement that will compensate the family for their pain and suffering and economic damages. This is a significant result given that it was an FTCA claim, which is subject to different rules and procedures than claims brought in civil court, and because the presence of a severe IVH without any traditional markers of birth-related asphyxia greatly complicated the task of proving proximate cause.
The Becker Law Firm is grateful for the trust placed in our Cleveland personal injury attorneys to handle this difficult matter. As a firm that’s recovered over $600 million for victims of birth injury, medical malpractice, and negligence, we are passionate about helping families fight for justice and the financial recovery they deserve.