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Family Settles Medical Malpractice Case for $2.3 Million

A family recently settled a medical malpractice lawsuit with the federal government that stemmed from birth injuries sustained at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. The family's daughter was born with severe injuries that include cerebral palsy. The Justice Department admitted no malpractice but settled the case for $2.3 million.

Miami medical malpractice attorneys noted news reports on the case which said that in 2006, the mother was admitted to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia, suffering from severe cramps. She was thirty-five weeks pregnant at that time.

A fetal heart monitor indicated fetal stress, but the family alleged that hospital staff did not inform doctors of this. In fact, the family said that the mother was left alone for over an hour with no intervention of any kind.

An emergency cesarian section was performed two and a half hours after the mother was admitted. The placenta had detached from the uterine wall, resulting in oxygen loss to the fetus. The baby was born with respiratory failure and a slow heart rate. Her appearance was pale and limp.

The baby was intubated and later transferred to Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.

The lawsuit alleged that the daughter's neurological injuries would be lifelong, and delay all areas of her development.

The settlement was approved by U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar. His settlement order enumerated $54,000 for medical expenses, $675,000 for legal fees, and the remaining $1.57 million for a trust that will pay for the child's future care.

Source: Virginian-Pilot "U.S. to pay $2.3 million to settle malpractice case" 1/12/2011

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