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Medical Malpractice

South Carolina Birth Injuries: Are Hospitals Safe?

Family awarded $893,684 in Suit Against Hospital

After filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against Janesville, Illinois’s Mercy Health System, Justin and Kara Rutherford accused the hospital and doctors of negligence in the handling of Kara’s labor and delivery of their son.

When Jared was delivered, his shoulder got stuck behind his mother’s pubic bone after his head was delivered, which prevented his body from easily following the head during delivery. This complication injured the nerve’s in the boy’s shoulder. As a result of his delivery, Jared has suffered permanent injuries, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, the loss of a normal life, and medical expenses. He now has limited strength and motion in his left shoulder.

In the suit, the family alleged that the hospital’s negligence caused a permanent shoulder injury to their son, Jared, who is now 8. The suit was filed in 2004 after Jared’s birth in January of 2001. The lawsuit claimed that the doctors and hospital failed to perform appropriate tests, failed to determine whether a vaginal delivery was safe and did not offer a cesarean section, failed to inform the parents that delivery might be hazardous to the baby, and did not properly supervise the baby after delivery.

The jury found that the hospital and doctors were responsible for the birth defects and awarded the family almost $900,000 for past and future medical and health care expenses, fututre loss of earning capacity, and past and future pain, suffering, disability and disfigurement.

Source: Gazette Xtra- “Family awarded $893,684 in Mercy suit”- October 27, 2009.

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