Large Settlement Awarded in Florida Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Suit
In 2007, Kiarra Smith was born three months premature at HealthPark Medical Center in Florida. 15 days into her care at the hospital, she was accidently given a dose of nutrients 100 times more powerful than what was prescribed. Her parents and lawyer assert this mistake caused Smith to go into cardiac arrest, and eventually be diagnosed with cerebral palsy and blindness.
Cerebral palsy can be caused when infants are cut off from oxygen and develop brain damage. This usually occurs before, during or right after birth. The condition can range from mild to severe, affecting muscle movement. In Smith’s case, it is severe. She will be in a wheelchair for her entire life, and will always require medical care.
Smith’s parents filed a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, and in March, 2011 were awarded $19.2 million to cover Smith’s medical costs. Under Florida liability caps, the award may be lowered to $200,000.