Recently, a jury in the Baltimore County Circuit Court awarded a family $2 million based on their OB-GYN’s failure to identify that their daughter would be born premature and that as a result she would have cerebral palsy. The award includes $1.5 million for future medical expenses and $350,000 in noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
The Abid family from Woodlawn in Baltimore County filed suit against Dr. Meera A. Rawtani from St. Joseph Medical Center. In 2006, Mrs. Abid’s water broke ahead of schedule at 33 weeks pregnant. However, her doctors believed she was “more than 36 weeks pregnant.” Medical records presented at trial show that Mrs. Abid’s ultrasound from 12 days prior to her water breaking showed a premature baby. The lawsuit alleged that Dr. Rawtani failed to let the Abids know there “might have been a ‘miscalculation’ on the gestation,” and that the hospital staff failed to administer steroids to baby Maria while in utero to increase her lung capacity. When Maria was born, her lungs were underdeveloped and she was experiencing breathing problems. The neonatologist informed the NICU staff that Maria was “mistakenly delivered prematurely” at 33 weeks.
The telling piece of evidence presented at trial was the changing of medical records “after the fact” to show Maria was not fully developed when born. Maria is now 9 years old and with this verdict, her parents can now afford to take better care of her and have been compensated for all the pain they have endured over the years because of the doctor’s mistake.
This type of award by the jury bodes well for future plaintiffs in Baltimore County bringing a medical malpractice suit against a doctor for a birth injury. Compared to other counties in Maryland, Baltimore is usually on the lower end of monetary damage awards. Personal injury attorneys in the Baltimore County area are certainly welcoming this deviation in normal jury patterns.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a birth injury or an injury as the result of someone elses negligence in Maryland, please call us at (301) 854-9000 to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation in our Owings Mills office or one of our other offices located throughout Maryland, or visit us online to learn more about medical malpractice at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Medical-Malpractice/Cerebral-Palsy.shtml