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.