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Federal Jury Awards $14.5 Million in Birth Injury Case

birth-injury-settlementA Pennsylvania federal jury awarded parents of an infant who developed cerebral palsy as a result of a mishandled delivery $14.48 million in damages, according to The Legal Examiner.

Cerebral palsy is a group of conditions of the brain and nervous system that impairs movement, cognition, sight, and hearing, and can be caused during the birthing process by an inappropriate dosage of Pitocin, a uterine stimulant drug.

Parents Nicole Welker and Justin Brinkley claimed that Dr. Thomas Carnevale of Clearfield Hospital had failed to properly monitor the mother’s dilation and contractions. Although the baby’s heart rate had been progressively slowing during deliver, Dr. Carnevale kept Welker on Pitocin for the duration of the delivery.

The infant now suffers from spastic tetraparesis cerebral palsy, which causes him to experience seizures and global aphasia. The parents’ home will need to be retrofitted for ramps, mechanical lifts, and medical equipment, and their child will require round-the-clock care.

Both Clearfield Hospital and Carnevale contended that Welker received proper treatment and that the infant’s cerebral palsy was due to insufficiencies in the placenta, seizures, and meconium aspiration syndrome, in which a fetus aspirates on its own stool.

Following a two-week jury trial, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiffs with 60% liability apportioned to Carnevale and 40% to the hospital.