Complications during childbirth may lead to severe injuries if they are untreated or treated incorrectly. In a Chicago birth injury case, the family of a six year-old quadriplegic boy filed a lawsuit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, or FTCA, claiming that medical malpractice during childbirth was the reason the child contracted a bacterial infection that led to his brain damage.
Under FTCA, the United States is liable for injuries resulting from a federal employee’s negligence. The doctors who failed to correctly treat the infection were employees of the federally funded clinic, Erie Family Health Center and working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital when the child was born in May 2003.
The Illinois birth injury lawsuit falls under the FTCA even though Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where the child was treated, is a private company and not federally funded. This reason for this is because the doctors who allegedly committed the medical malpractice, and therefore were the ones the lawsuit was against, were federal employees at the time. So as long as a physician is employed by the federal government in any capacity, then your Illinois medical malpractice claim would be subject to FTCA rules, even if you are being treated at a non-federally funded hospital.
After a one-week trial, the court entertained briefs on the issue of damages. The judge made findings as to liability and causation. The boy has cerebral palsy and will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life. The $29.1 million awarded to the family is intended to cover any past and future medical bills, and to ensure the child receives the necessary care he will require for the rest of his life.
A common cause of cerebral palsy in childbirth is oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia. However, as discussed above, there are other causes of cerebral palsy that are just as preventable. Proper treatment and monitoring during childbirth can significantly reduce the chances of a child growing up with cerebral palsy or other debilitating birth defects.
United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois is just one of many organizations devoted to helping those with disabilities and their families.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Chicago birth injury lawsuits for over 30 years, serving those areas in and around Cook County, including Northbrook, Lisle, Blue Island, and Hoffman Estates.
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Cerebral Palsy Result of Delay In Treating Chicago Boy’s Severe Dehydration
Cook County Birth Injury Settlement Reached in Illinois Cerebral Palsy Case
Negligent Cook County Delivery Results in Brain Damage to the Child