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Who can I sue for a birth injury?

Many Maryland parents and soon-to-be parents hope that their newborns are born healthy. While some medical issues are beyond the medical professionals' control, many newborns experience illnesses and injuries that could have been prevented if those treating the baby had been more careful. People injured at birth may end up with cerebral palsy or a number of other physical and emotional disabilities that last a lifetime. When a birth injury occurs due to the negligence of one or more parties, a family may be able to sue for medical malpractice.

The first person you may think to sue is the doctor who was in charge of the birth. However, there are many other parties that could also be liable for the baby's medical issues including nurses, pharmaceutical companies and anesthesiologists. In many cases, you should consider suing the hospital where the injury occurred. Hospitals may be liable for many reasons. For one, hospitals can be vicariously liable for the actions of the doctors, nurses and other professionals working for them, as long as these employees were working within the scope of their employment. However, if a medical professional is negligent and they are working as an independent contractor, the hospital may not be liable for their actions.

Hospitals may also be liable under the corporate negligence doctrine for failing to make reasonable inquiries as to an employee's education, licensing and other background information relevant to the position. If a staff member has a propensity toward harmful behavior and the hospital does not take action to terminate the employee, the hospital could be liable for negligent retention. Hospitals are also responsible for providing adequate supervision to make sure their employees are behaving appropriately. If an employee does not have the proper supervision and causes a birth injury as a result, the hospital may be sued for negligent supervision. Many negligent supervision cases arise from the fact that the hospital failed to provide a sufficient number of nurses and medical support staff members to maintain the quality of patient care. The shortage of staffers can easily result in a birth injury.

Birth injuries can be traumatizing and cause significant physical, emotional and financial injuries to both the victim and their families. Filing a lawsuit against all negligent parties responsible for the injuries may be the best way to recover compensation for the incident

Source: FindLaw, "Responsible Parties in Birth Injury Cases: Who Can Be Sued?," accessed on Nov. 27, 2017

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