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Family sues doctor and hospital for newborn's brain injury

Houston readers may be interested in a lawsuit has been filed against an Illinois doctor and the hospital he worked at for a newborn's injuries. The family is seeking compensation for the birth injuries that the newborn suffered as a result of asphyxia.

The complaint alleges that the doctor failed to apply a fetal scalp electrode to the baby's head throughout the entire labor, failed to properly monitor the baby's heart rate monitor and failed to timely deliver the baby. As a result, the baby was born with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a brain injury due to asphyxia. The family is seeking damages in excess of $675,000.

This story illustrates the tragic injuries that can result from complications during the delivery process. When such injuries could have been avoided by the medical professional, the baby and its family may be entitled to compensation.

When a family files a lawsuit against medical professionals for birth injuries to a newborn, the family's attorney must be able to show that the physician or other professionals failed to provide the standard of care provided by other professionals in the same practice area under similar circumstances.

If a lawsuit is successful, attorneys often recommend that the verdict or settlement proceeds be placed in a trust for the benefit of the child. Texas law limits "noneconomic" damages such as mental anguish and pain and suffering to $250,000. However, other forms of damages, such as medical expenses and loss of future earning capacity, are not limited in the amount that can be collected.

When an avoidable birth injury occurs, it is important for a family to have the situation evaluated for any possible legal claims. The legal rights of both the baby and the parents should be fully safeguarded.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, "Doctor, hospital sued over child's brain injury suffered at birth," Kelly Holleran, Nov. 19, 2012

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