On April 26, 2023, a Philadelphia jury awarded nearly $183 million to a mother and her child for birth-related injuries.* The verdict is believed to be a record for the highest verdict in a medical malpractice case in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The child was delivered at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (H.U.P.) but was born with severe brain injuries resulting in cerebral palsy (C.P.) As a result of the child’s medical conditions, he needs lifelong care and support.
In the case, the mother argued that her child, who is now 5 years old, suffered brain injuries and C.P. because the H.U.P. staff did not perform a cesarean section in a timely manner, even though they knew that the mother had chorioamnionitis (an infection of the amniotic fluid and membranes surrounding the fetus.) The family claimed that, had the child been delivered sooner, he would not have suffered C.P. and brain injuries. H.U.P. argued that it did not delay the delivery improperly and that the baby’s injuries were caused by the uterine infection before the baby was delivered.
The jury rejected H.U.P.’s arguments and decided that H.U.P.’s negligence caused the child’s catastrophic injuries. They awarded the child and his mother $182.7 million in damages, which can be broken down into three elements that are common in birth injury cases:
- $101 million for lifetime care costs,
- $1.7 million for future earnings losses, and
- $80 million in other damages.
This money is intended to cover past expenses and losses, as well as provide for the child’s care for the remainder of his life. It also includes an award for pain and suffering, which is the physical pain and emotional trauma that was caused by H.U.P.’s negligence. You can find out more about compensation in birth injury cases here.
This verdict demonstrates that juries are willing to award full and fair compensation to victims of medical negligence and to make sure that the responsible party is held accountable. If you are concerned that your child may have been injured by a health care provider’s negligence, contact the birth injury attorneys lawyers at Morris James today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
At Morris James, our attorneys have been standing up for victims since we opened our doors in 1932. If you have other questions about cerebral palsy or birth injuries, you may find answers in our Cerebral Palsy FAQs or Birth Injury FAQs, or you can contact us online or call us at 302.655.2599 to learn more.
*The case was filed by Dajah Hagans on behalf of her and her child against H.U.P. and various doctors and nurses. The case is Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Case No. 190607280. H.U.P. indicated that it will likely file an appeal.