August 25, 2015

Injury victim and family await Department of Justice decision

Virginia cerebral palsy lawsuitA Virginia couple whose son who suffered permanent brain damage during his traumatic birth in 2010 are awaiting approval by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the $9 million settlement reached by the family and Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. A federal judge recently approved the settlement but since the hospital is a federally owned facility, the birth injury lawsuit settlement must also be approved by the DOJ.

According to the plaintiff’s 2012 medical malpractice lawsuit, healthcare staff at the Army medical hospital failed to properly consult the obstetrician managing the child’s delivery. The mother presented signs of uterine rupture but by the time doctors were finally called and a cesarean section performed, the child suffered birth asphyxia (limited oxygen to the brain).

The lack of oxygen to the child’s brain left him with cerebral palsy, requiring expensive, round the clock medical care. The pending settlement would give the child’s family a one-time payout of $9 million to provide for medical care and other expenses.

The parties originally agreed to a settlement which included a $5 million immediate payment and an additional $4 million to be dispersed over the course of the child’s life but this initial settlement was denied by the DOJ. According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the family is ready to take their case to trial if the DOJ refuses the latest settlement.

Cerebral palsy is a serious, permanent brain injury for which there is no cure. A lack of oxygen to a child’s brain during his or her delivery can be one of the causes of cerebral palsy. While the legal services of The Cochran Firm, D.C. were not retained by any of the parties in this case, our law firm regularly represents victims and their families of medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injuries, including cerebral palsy.