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Parents awarded $42 million in birth injury case

Many Kentucky parents depend on doctors to safely deliver babies. However, medical professionals sometimes make mistakes during a child’s delivery that can result in serious birth injuries.

For example, the federal government recently agreed to pay $42 million to a Pennsylvania couple whose son suffered brain injuries from the use of forceps during his birth. According to court documents, the boy was delivered at federally-supported Keystone Women’s Health Center in February 2012. During the delivery, an obstetrician used forceps to pull on the boy’s head, allegedly causing skull fractures and bleeding in his brain. As a result, the boy, now age 5, is unable to speak, read or write. He will also likely be confined to a motorized wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The judge in the case noted that the mother and baby were not in distress when the obstetrician chose to use forceps, leading the court to believe that the procedure was unnecessary. The parents were awarded $33 million for their son’s future medical expenses and the cost of assisted living. They were also awarded an additional $5 million for the boy’s pain and suffering, around $3.5 million for the loss of his future earnings and nearly $105,000 for his past medical bills. The government initially appealed the ruling but withdrew its claim on Feb. 1.

A birth injury can cause permanently disabilities that require a lifetime of medical care. Parents of a child who suffers such an injury may want to partner with a lawyer. After reviewing the case, an attorney may recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages, including medical expenses, loss of future income and pain and suffering.

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