Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Lawsuit Ends in $13.9M Award
A cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuit was brought to court, ending with a $14 million dollar settlement for an Ohio family.
A difficult delivery
Haley Cobb, now 10-years-old was part of a botched birth delivery that included the use of a vacuum device and contraction inducing drugs. Her family asserts these medical decisions led to her permanent brain damage.
Going forward with a vaginal delivery when indicators said otherwise
Cobb’s parents brought the suit against Dr. Tara Shipman, accusing her of going forward with a vaginal birth instead of recommending a cesarean section, which they say could have prevented Cobb’s condition.
Cerebral palsy is caused by a brain injury that can occur before, during, or right after birth. It is usually triggered by a lack of oxygen to the brain, which causes brain damage that can range from mild to severe. In Cobb’s case she will never walk and needs 24-hour-car.
After a three week trial, the Trumbull County Common Press Court agreed with the Cobb family’s assertion that Dr. Shipman was responsible for Cobb’s disabilities and awarded the family $13.9 million in damages.
Caused by a lesion as opposed to malpractice
The defense argued that Cobb’s cerebral palsy was caused by lesions in the mother’s placenta which could have deprived Cobb of oxygen for weeks or even months before delivering. However, a medical expert testified that Dr. Shipman gave inducing drugs when the baby was showing signs of fetal distress, and also left the delivery room for her office when she should not have.
In the end, the settlement will go toward paying for Cobb’s life-long care.