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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

A federal judge in Martinsburg, WV awarded $7.1 million recently to a woman and her young daughter in a medical negligence lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged the child suffered serious brain damage because of improper treatment during child birth. 

A 26 page bench trial order found that the attending physician did not meet the appropriate standard of care in causing the injuries to the newborn child in October 2013. The federal judge awarded the woman $224,000 for her past medical bills and $6.9 million to her four year old daughter for future healthcare costs, pain and suffering and lost earning capacity.


The judgement ws entered against the attending physician on Feb. 22 in Martinsburg.

In determining how much the victim and mother should be awarded, the judge pointed to evidence that showed the child could never have normal mental development and will be unable to graduate from high school with any employable skills. The child also will be permanently disabled for life and will be unable to make decision on her own. She will be dependent upon a caretaker for her entire life.

The child also will be unable to walk without assistance or a walker and will probably suffer from seizures. The victim also will need regular physical and occupational therapy.

The judge concluded that the newborn child should have been transferred from Berkeley Medical Center to Winchester Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit the same afternoon she was born but was not. Court documents stated that the doctor thought the child should be transferred, but a nurse manager persuaded her to not do the transfer. As a result, the child had difficulty breathing and developed cerebral palsy.

Our View

Our Virginia medical malpractice attorneys are saddened that medical negligence led to the above serious injury to a newborn child. Our personal injury attorneys are familiar with the complexities of medical malpractice cases. One of our recent cases involved a child who suffered shoulder dystocia, which is a permanent arm injury during child birth. The claim was filed against a certified nurse midwife who helped with the birth.

The judge in the case awarded $2.3 million for the child because it is a permanent injury. While the child will be able to live a normal life in some ways, he will never be able to play sports because of the negligence that occurred during his birth.


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