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West Virginia family awarded $55 million for OBGYN’s mistakes

Over the past two weeks, a jury has been deliberating over a Lehigh County, WV birth defect trial wherein a couple has filed and won a lawsuit against St. Luke's University Hospital and one of its doctors, stating that the hospital and physician are liable for mistakes that were made when their son was born, resulting in his diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

The couple sued on the grounds that their son's CP will affect his body movement, coordination, reflexes, muscle control, balance, and posture for the rest of his life. A great deal of the money awarded to the family will go toward helping the victim sustain quality of life while he and his family deal with the CP and its effects. 

In November of 2009, the woman went in to labor and, in her mind, all was well at St. Luke's Hospital. However, during the birth, her son was not getting enough oxygen and her physician failed to act. The couple's son became stuck in his mother's birth canal and then she began to hemorrhage. The couple argued that the woman needed an emergency C-section, but the doctor instead decided to go with a vacuum removal, depriving the child of even more oxygen and further injuring him.

The couple's attorney proved that delays, in what should have been immediate action, eventually resulted in permanent injuries and the cerebral palsy from which their son now suffers. Although he is a bright young boy at nearly four-and-a-half, the boy is beginning to show signs of developmental delays and other such adverse effects.

The family has been awarded $55 million. The jury decided that the doctor and hospital were each 50% at fault.

Cerebral palsy comes with a myriad of side effects. Children who suffer from CP also suffer from intellectual impairment, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and speech deficiencies. They can also develop gene mutation during brain development and meningitis.

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