A jury in Cook County, Illinois recently came back with a $53 million verdict, to be awarded to a mother and her 12-year-old son, as reported by the Hyde Park Herald. The verdict comes at the conclusion of a lawsuit, originally filed in 2013, by the mother and son against the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC), and is the largest verdict against the university to date. In fact, according to the article cited above, this is the largest lawsuit in Cook County’s entire history.
The lawsuit was filed on the basis of medical malpractice committed by UCMC’s doctors and nurses when the boy was merely a fetus within his mother’s uterus. According to reports, the doctors and nurses failed to recognize fetal distress (characterized by an abnormal fetal heart rate), and therefore failed to perform a necessary emergency cesarean section in time.
Reportedly, the unborn baby spent approximately 12 hours in serious fetal distress, and was born with severe brain damage as a result. Now 12 years old, the boy (Isaiah Ewig) is confined to a wheelchair, and is unable to feed or dress himself. The lawsuit claimed that Isaiah’s brain damage would not have occurred but for suffocation due to lack of oxygen, which would not have occurred but for the inaction on the part of UCMC’s doctors and nurses.
Damages Awarded Total $53 Million
Isaiah’s mother, Lisa Ewig, sought damages from UCMC in the form medical expenses, future medical expenses, caretaking expenses, and more. The $53 million verdict included $28.8 million for caretaking, and an additional $7.2 million for future medical expenses that the family is likely to encounter.
When Birth Injuries Leave a Child Permanently Impaired
The story of the Ewigs is tragic, and highlights how a mistake during the birthing process can leave a child permanently impaired and incapacitated. Sadly, most birth injuries are completely preventable, just as Isaiah Ewig’s was. Too often, birth injuries occur because medical professionals fail to take the appropriate steps necessary to mitigate fetal/infant harm, or use too much force during delivery. There is a sound argument to be made that, if doctors had performed a c-section earlier, Isaiah Ewig would not have suffered the brain injury he did, and he and his family would have a very different life today.
What to Do if Your Child Is Harmed
If your child is harmed during birth or as an infant due to the actions of a medical professional, you may have a case for damages. Do not wait until it is too late to take action – the clock on the statute of limitations is ticking. Instead, take action now by calling the experienced Boston medical malpractice attorneys at Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. Your initial case review is 100 percent free. Contact us now online or by calling (617) 973-9950.