$3 Million Dollar Settlement Awarded in Birth Injury Lawsuit Against Midwife
In 2001, a midwife delivered Hannah Tilton at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine. It was a difficult delivery, and at an early age, Hannah was diagnosed with severe mental retardation that will confine her to a wheel chair for the rest of her life. She is also unable to see, speak, or communicate and is fed through a feeding tube.
A lawsuit initiated against the midwife
Hannah’s parents brought a lawsuit against the midwife, and in a 6-3 vote, the jury determined that Irene Meyers, the midwife who delivered Hannah, had not fulfilled the full standard of care during the birth. It was their assertion that Meyers’s care caused the infant to sustain brain injuries.
The jury awarded Hannah almost $2.3 million for future medical costs, plus an additional $345,000 for earlier medical expenses, and finally $500,000 for pain and suffering.
Genetic condition blamed on abnormalities
Hannah has been diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome, a congenital disorder that causes mental impairment in 92% of its patients. Other symptoms include heart defects, hearing loss, and skeletal abnormality. There is also a very distinct facial appearance for individuals with this syndrome, which include long eyelids, a broad and depressed nasal tip, large earlobes, and a cleft or high-arched palate.
Objective medical evidence substantiating the injury
The defending lawyer, William McKinley, suggested that the disorder does not explain all of Hannah’s disabilities, and she most likely suffered injury due to lack of oxygen during birth. Fetal monitor records confirm a lack of oxygen.
Meyers had lost another birth injury lawsuit in 2007, brought by parents of a young boy who had been born with cerebral palsy. That family was awarded $6.71 million in 2007.