A single mother who was 29 at the time she gave birth will now at last be able to have her disabled child live with her in her home. Her dream is now possible because she was awarded a $50 million settled verdict against the hospital that delivered her baby five years ago.
In what seems like a story that just keeps repeating itself in hospitals across the country, this lawsuit started when doctors did not promptly proceed with Cesarean Section when the woman arrived at the hospital.
The woman’s attorneys argued that preliminary testing showed that the woman’s son was not moving in the mother’s womb. It was not clear whether doctors eventually performed a C-Section, but the child was born with a severe developmental disorder stemming from severe brain damage. The theory was that had the hospital staff acted more urgently, the child would not have suffered debilitating injuries.
At least for the time being, the child has been living in a treatment facility. He now requires constant medical and personal care, as he cannot talk or feed himself. He is also unable to walk.
After hearing the evidence, the jury awarded the mother, who is a nursing assistant, $101 million in damages. However, she entered into an agreement with the hospital under which the largest payout she could receive was $50 million.
It is not clear what concessions the hospital gave to her in exchange for her willingness to cap the verdict, but the hospital has announced no plans to appeal the decision.
Just as in the case of previous stories like this one, Texas hospitals have an obligation to react promptly if they notice a mother or unborn child is in distress and take the necessary steps to protect the health of both. If they fail to do so, then Houston victims may be able to receive compensation.