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Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Yields Funds to Provide For The Future Needs Of Child With Cerebral Palsy

The settlement of a Chicagoland medical malpractice lawsuit involving a girl who suffered from complications during the labor and delivery process will provide funding for her medical and non-medical care needs for the rest of her life.

Criticism of obstetrician and hospital staff

The crux of the case centered around how the treating obstetrician and hospital staff at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL responded to signals indicative of fetal distress.

A delay in responding to indications of fetal distress resulted in the child suffering from an extended period of time without sufficient oxygen—which in turn resulted in damage to her brain and the eventual diagnosis of a neurological condition known as cerebral palsy.

2+ years of medical malpractice litigation

As reported by the Chicago Sun Times, Chicago medical malpractice lawyers for the girl reached a settlement with the defendant hospital and doctors following commencement of a lawsuit and two years of litigation.

In addition to providing for the child’s care-related expenses, the proceeds from this birth injury case will be used to help make modifications to the girl’s home to make it more accessible for her.  In particular, the funds will be used to make modifications that provide for enhanced wheelchair accessibility throughout her home.

Proceeds from cerebral palsy lawsuits

In circumstances where the negligence of a physician or medical staff is responsible for a child’s cerebral palsy, most jurisdictions provide for a lawsuit to be filed on behalf of the child in order to recover for his or her damages.  Depending on the applicable malpractice laws, a claim may be asserted for both economic and non-economic damages.  Non-economic damages refer to intangible harms to the child—such as disability or pain and suffering.

In CP lawsuits, the most substantial element of damages usually includes economic damages for the child’s past and future care. Depending on the degree of type of cerebral palsy and degree of disability, everything from a specially modified vehicle to round-the-clock medical care may be necessary in order to provide for the most optimal level of functioning.

The role of a life care planner in cerebral palsy cases

Cerebral palsy lawsuits commonly involve the services of a life care planner who can compartmentalize these needs in the form of a life care plan.   A life care plan for a child with cerebral palsy looks at every aspect of the child’s physical and psychological strengths and weaknesses and devises a customized plan, which incorporates such criteria.

In order to devise a dollar figure to comply with a child’s life care plan, the services of an economist are typically retained in order to help bring some clarity as to what the life care plan realistically costs to fund.  Economists working in litigation use a rate of return— a percentage rate of return in interest and investments to calculate present cash value for a child’s care plan.

Given that once a settlement of a cerebral palsy lawsuit has been achieved, there is no opportunity to seek additional funds, it is important that an experienced life care planner and economist are retained during litigation to best provide for the needs of a special needs child.

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