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Litigation Funding Blog

Jury Awards 6-Year-Old $40 Million for Birth Injuries that Left Her Paralyzed

October 19, 2021

On the evening of March 2, 2011, a 34-year-old woman arrived at the hospital over 34 weeks pregnant with twins. The hospital induced her labor. The next afternoon, the attending physician determined that the mother was ready to give birth.

During the delivery, one twin suffered a spinal injury that caused her paralysis from the mid-chest downward. She had damages to her spinal cord and several torn nerve roots. The injuries left her unable to stand on her own, and now she has to use a wheelchair. 

The little girl’s parents filed a lawsuit on her behalf in 2013 against the doctor, hospital and health system. The parents’ medical malpractice claim alleges that the mother was supposed to deliver via cesarean section and that one of the babies was in the feet-first position, which is highly risky for a vaginal delivery.

According to the suit, a loud popping sound occurred when delivering the baby’s head. The memo stated that the sound was the spinal cord breaking. Also, the torn root nerves resulted in damage to her right arm.

The lawsuit went to trial in January 2018. The jury ruled in favor of the parents and their daughter. They awarded the now six-year-old girl over $40 million for her injuries and damages, and $ 10 million is for pain and suffering.

The remaining $30 million is for her future care based on the determination that she will need physical and occupational therapy for the rest of her life. She will also need extensive hours of daily personal care, assistance with medical care visits, medication and the finances to cover the medical expenses.

When medical malpractice occurs, the parents may file a lawsuit on their child’s behalf against the doctor, hospital and any other negligent party.  

Medical care must continue while waiting for the conclusion of the case. The child’s parents may not be able to afford healthcare costs and a lawsuit. In such a situation, litigation funding may be the ideal option to cover the expenses.

Litigation finance or litigation funding occurs when a third-party lender provides money to the person bringing the lawsuit to fund the case. The borrower uses the money to cover the litigation costs, such as attorney’s fees and court costs. The financing from legal funding can also cover the plaintiff’s personal expenses. 

In return for the financing, the third-party lender receives a portion of the plaintiff’s award when they win or settle the lawsuit. If the case does not resolve in the borrower’s favor, the litigation financer does not recover its funding. The risk of repayment lies with the lender.

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