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Jury awards Maryland couple $55M for hospital negligence

A Maryland couple recently received a jury award of $55 million after their son was born with serious physical and mental disabilities. The parents of the young child sued Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for medical negligence.

According to reports, the recent Baltimore Circuit Court jury award for a birth injury is among the largest ever handed down by a jury in a medical malpractice case in Maryland history.

The lawsuit was initially filed against Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation. The parents claimed that that the hospital's negligence contributed to their child's disabilities.

The family alleged that the injuries sustained by the boy resulted from the hospitals delay in providing a cesarean section. The child suffered a loss of oxygen to the brain. The lack of oxygen resulted in permanent global developmental delays, severe and permanent brain damage, multiple physical and mental disabilities and cerebral palsy.

Due to the urgency of the situation, the family's attorney argued, an emergency c-section was required to prevent serious injuries to the couple's then-unborn son. The hospital, however, did not perform the procedure until more than two hours after the mother was rushed to the Baltimore hospital in March 2010.

Despite additional evidence provided by the hospital, the jury ultimately found that the delay that existed between the couple's arrival at the hospital and the c-section delivery amounted to medical malpractice.

While the award granted by the jury was tallied at $55 million, the parents may only realize about $30 million in final compensation. That's due to a state mandated cap on damages.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Jury awards Waverly family $55 million in Hopkins malpractice case," Yvonne Wenger and Kevin Rector, June 26, 2012

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