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Cerebral palsy and medical malpractice

Even legislators from other states than Kentucky or Ohio recognize just how devastating birth injuries resulting from medical malpractice can be. The Florida House of Representatives for example approved a $31 million claims bill to provide for the care of a 14-year old boy that was born with severe cerebral palsy due to the medical malpractice of the hospital that delivered him.

This verdict follows up on a jury verdict that was delivered in the boy's favor. It was asserted in that lawsuit that the boy was deprived of oxygen at birth as a result of the improper use of a drug that was prescribed to the mother to stimulate her labor. It is further asserted that the hospital failed to take timely action to correct the circumstances once the problem was discovered.

The hospital is disputing the claim, though the exact reason for its disputation is unknown. The hospital also claims it does not have insurance to afford such a verdict and was hoping that the costs of the verdict would be shifted to the state.

Though $31 million is an enormous sum, the boy now lacks muscle control and will require medical care and services for the remainder of his life. The boy's mother has testified that she has had to provide care for the boy 24-hours a day for the past 14-years.

Estimating how much a lifetime of care actually should be in dollar figures is difficult to specifically state. Putting a price tag on physical deformation and suffering is almost impossible. Yet some sort of compensation needs to be owed to at least allow the boy and his family to survive and to send a message that such malpractice cannot be allowed to exist.

Source:, "House panel approves record claims bill for teen injured during birth," Feb. 17, 2012

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