Articles Posted in Birth Injuries

Birth injury malpractice lawsuits have the highest potential settlement or verdict value of any personal injury tort lawsuit. The median and average verdict and/or settlement in a birth injury lawsuit is around 30% higher than the average value of other medical malpractice claims and three times the average of personal injury cases in general. Maryland birth injury cases are worth even more, with an average payout closer to 50% higher than other medical malpractice cases.

This post will take a closer look at the value of birth injury malpractice cases. We will review some sample settlements and verdicts in various types of birth injury claims and discuss some factors that drive the value of birth injury lawsuits so high.

Average Compensation Payouts for a Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit

The data that links Zofran and birth defects keeps piling up. Lawsuits have been filed against the drug’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, because they failed to warn pregnant women that the drug can cause injuries to their unborn children when taken during pregnancy.

A 2023 update is provided at the bottom of the page.  Otherwise, this is an old post.

  • Learn more about how to bring a Zofran lawsuit and how settlements of these claims might work

What is Zofran and what does it do?

zofran birth defectsZofran is an excellent nausea drug that was originally approved for use in individuals who were undergoing surgery or chemotherapy. The nausea associated with these surgeries is unbearable, and Zofran does a wonderful job of helping people deal with the pain.

But the organizations that make drugs like Zofran are corporations, and what do corporations like to rake in? Profits. So naturally, GlaxoSmithKline tried to figure out other ways to increase their market share for Zofran.

One of the ways it did this was to push the drug “off label” on pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. Given the effectiveness of the drug in fighting nausea, this seemed like a good idea. However, the FDA did not and has not approved the drug for such usage, which comes as no surprise given the threat of birth defects to unborn children of mothers on the drug.

Continue reading

In October, an $8.9 million birth injury malpractice payout was awarded against a Minnesota midwife. This case underscores the danger of failing to accurately estimate the fetal size and weight before delivery.

This post looks at this Minnesota birth injury lawsuit and provides sample fetal macrosomia settlement amounts and jury awards.  

Our lawyers handle fetal macrosomia lawsuits throughout the country.  If you want to bring a claim or have a question about your claim, call our birth injury attorneys at 800-553-8082.  

A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences concludes that glucocorticoids can treat hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) by reducing the amount of brain damage. This can prevent cerebral palsy (CP) and other brain injuries from becoming more severe.

 What is hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy (HIE)?

hie brain coolingHIE is a brain injury resulting from a lack of oxygen. This can happen prior to birth, during birth, or even well into childhood.

A team of researchers at University College London has developed a device known as a broadband near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) that uses light to detect brain damage in infants. They are now planning a clinical trial of the NIRS.

The first month of a baby’s life is critical. If there is a brain bleed or oxygen deprivation, you want to know the extent and scope of that injury for early intervention.

Brain injuries that occur immediately after childbirth are life-altering. In recent years, cooling has made a big impact on lessening the impact of a brain injury.   So anything we can do to act sooner to mitigate damage can make a real difference.

Parents of newborns are quick to ask whether something happening during the birth process that caused harm to their child. Sometimes, there are signs that are a reasonable cause for concern. Of course, there are also instances where we fear for our children without a lot of foundation.

Ground Zero for Concern

The most reasonable cause of concern for parents of a newborn with a birth injury is if they were told that their child suffered a loss of oxygen. Birth injury cases have a lot of different fact patterns. But, the most common thread our birth injury lawyers see is oxygen deprivation during the birthing process. If you are told that your child was deprived of oxygen for any significant period, there is a reason to fear a birth injury that could impact your child. Still, it does not mean that your child suffered any injury.

Pitocin and Syntocinon are common brand names for the drug Oxytocin, a synthetic hormone used to help start or expedite childbirth.  This intravenous drug increases the intercellular concentrations of calcium in the middle layer of the uterine wall which promotes uterine contraction.  While there are other methods of expediting delivery such as amniotomy or stripping of the membranes., nipple stimulation and soap suds enema, Pitocin, and Syntocinon are the go-to therapies to initiate or accelerate delivery.

Preliminary results from a fascinating new study could spell the eventual end for cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that prevents the brain from being able to adequately communicate with the body, causing physical difficulties with tasks like walking.cerebral palsy treatment

In the first part of the study, investigators from Duke University Medical Center used an intravenous infusion of a child’s own cord blood to see if it had an effect on their cerebral palsy. Initial data from the first part of the study showed that some patients had improved speech, mobility and movement.

A team of scientists from Duke University Medical Center is now on phase II and is seeking participants for its Cerebral Palsy Autologous Cord Blood Study. This part of the study is a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study, which means that some participants will receive full treatments, and others will receive a placebo. This is the gold standard for medical research. The team expects to complete the study by July 2013. There is another study taking place at the Medical College of Georgia.

The implications of these studies are heart-warming, to say the least. Something like this could be the miracle cure that thousands of parents have been hoping for. Even though the study is slated to be complete next year, there are other concerns. For example, the study only involves the use of a child’s own cord blood–it won’t be immediately apparent whether donated cord blood could yield the same benefits. Banking cord blood can be an expensive process–one company charges $2,195 for the first year.

Our law firm has been concerned with cerebral palsy for years, particularly as it is sometimes caused by medical malpractice. We handle birth injury cases where children develop cerebral palsy because of delays and complications during labor. When the baby’s oxygen and blood supply is cut off, whether because of complications of shoulder dystocia, fetal distress or umbilical cord prolapse, cerebral palsy and other developmental delays can be the unfortunate result.

These are awful cases that are, frankly, very lucrative for malpractice lawyers. But nothing would make us happier than to give up those lawsuits and see children with cerebral palsy cured. Any progress towards this goal would be just unbelievable.

Cerebral Palsy Basic Facts

There are about 8,000 new cases each year in the United States. The United Cerebral Palsy Foundation estimates that over 750,000 people in the U.S. have one or more of the symptoms of cerebral palsy.  All CP injuries come from a static lesion of the brain but the outcomes vary wildly.  The symptoms vary from insignificant to all-consuming.  Although the injury usually occurs during or near childbirth, most kids are not diagnosed for at least a year, although parents usually have suspicions and concerns long before a concrete diagnosis.  

Every CP case is different.  Neurologic classifications of cerebral palsy include spastic (pyramidal) cerebral palsy, dyskinetic (extrapyramidal) cerebral palsy, ataxic (rare) cerebral palsy, and mixed types.

Our lawyers mostly see spastic cerebral palsy cases.  Spastic types CP has five subtypes

  • Monoplegia – one limb involvement
  • Diplegia – primarily lower limb involvement
  • Triplegia – involves three limbs
  • Tetraplegia – four extremities and truncal involvement
  • Hemiplegia – one side of the body involved including arm and leg

Continue reading

Note: We updated this page in 2023 to include Wisconsin birth injury settlements and verdicts.  

A Crawford County, Wisconsin jury awarded a brain-damaged child and his family $11.4 million last week after a three-week medical malpractice trial. The article I read did not break down the economic versus non-economic damages of the award. Wisconsin has a cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases of $750,000.

2018 Update: Mayo v. United Healthcare

Contact Information