Kaiser will have to pay out $4.1 million after settling a medical malpractice
claim in San Francisco County Superior Court. The lawsuit was brought
by the great-grandmother and guardian ad litem of a seven-year-old boy
who suffers from spastic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The
plaintiff claims that the hospital where the boy was born was negligent in delaying his
birth by a number of days, and that this delay resulted in the birth injuries
that led to his cerebral palsy.
Boy Now Requires 24-Hour Care
The plaintiff argued that the mother of the boy showed “signs and
symptoms” of going into labor for several days before the hospital
admitted her for delivery. If the hospital had been more attentive, doctors
presumably could have delivered the boy by C-section. Instead, because
of the long delay, the boy endured “catastrophic injuries”
during delivery, and now requires round-the-clock care.
The boy is still unable to walk, crawl, or communicate, and is dependent
on others for every activity in his life. He cannot follow commands or
instructions, meaning he needs constant supervision. The settlement is
intended to compensate the boy’s family for medical treatment and
ongoing care required to treat his cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The defendants
listed on the complaint included Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Foundation
Health Plan Inc., and the Permanente Medical Group.
Cerebral Palsy Is Often Caused by Birth Injuries
Cerebral palsy is caused by brain injuries to babies. These injuries often occur at
birth, and are sometimes the result of medical negligence. In particular, cerebral
palsy often results from oxygen deprivation to the brain, which can occur
while the fetus is in utero or during the delivery process. Cerebral palsy
is usually not diagnosed until the child is at least a few years old,
with some early symptoms appearing before the age of three. Some who are
diagnosed with the disease are able to walk, communicate, and lead relatively
normal lives. At the other extreme, some are confined to wheelchairs and
are completely unable to talk or communicate in any way.
There are different kinds of cerebral palsy, with the spastic type being
by far the most common. Spastic cerebral palsy is characterized by underdeveloped
limbs and rigid joints. There are therapies, surgeries, and other treatments
that can improve the well-being of someone who has spastic cerebral palsy.
However, there is no cure, and depending on the severity of the individual’s
condition, it can require a lifetime of near-constant care. The costs
of caring for someone with
cerebral palsy can be sky-high and can create a severe financial strain on a patient
and his family.
What to Do if Your Child is Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you believe this
condition may be the result of medical negligence, you should contact
a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney can review the facts
of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they
can help you seek the compensation you deserve.