New York Jury Awards $77.4M In Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Lawsuit

A New York jury recently awarded $77.4 million to the family of a child who was born with numerous permanent birth injuries due to the medical malpractice of a doctor and the staff at St. John's Riverside Hospital. The near record damages amount may sound high, but every penny will go to lifelong care of the small child.

Negligent behavior

This New York medical malpractice lawsuit involves Mariana Baizan and her now three year old son Diego. According to news reports, Mariana went to St. John's Riverside Hospital in February 2006 to deliver Diego. However, the hospital was very short staffed and Mariana was not seen by doctors until about an hour before she delivered Diego – and that waiting time ended up damaging him more than anyone could have ever imagined.

Hospital staff did not place Mariana on fetal monitor strips until an hour before she delivered the baby and those strips showed an abnormally fast heart rate. Although a Caesarian section should have been performed, it wasn't due to the hospital's short staff. An anesthesiologist should also have been called due to the abnormal fetal strip readings, but that wasn't done either.

Diego was born requiring oxygen right away and started suffering constant seizures. Now three years old, he is blind, continues to suffer from constant seizures, cerebral palsy and severe developmental delays and requires feeding through a tube.

Medical malpractice lawsuit

Mariana sued St. John's Riverside Hospital and the doctor who delivered Diego for medical malpractice that caused his birth injuries. The doctor settled the matter for $2.1 million at the beginning of the trial, but the hospital refused. Although the defense claimed that a Caesarian section should not have been performed, Mariana's medical malpractice attorney was able to prove to the jury that it should have been. The jury awarded her a near record $77.4 million – $23 million for past and future pain and suffering, approximately $6 million for future medical expenses, $4.9 million for future loss of earnings, $40 million for the cost of round-the-clock home care needed by Diego and $3 million for rehabilitation care.