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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.

Plaintiffs Can Breathe Easy With Litigation Funding During a Pending Lawsuit

April 9, 2015

There is not much worse than realizing that an incident during birth caused your child’s serious injury. A birth injury typically occurs because of a complication during the labor or delivery process. Due to the fact that birth injuries often cause oxygen deprivation, many medical malpractice birth injuries lead to serious and even permanent birth defects. During the emotional litigation process, plaintiffs should be able to meet their financial needs, especially in providing care for the child. Litigation Funding Corporation can provide litigation funding without obstacles or risks.

A $17.5 million settlement was recently reached in a birth injury lawsuit involving a boy who was left permanently disable. The plaintiff alleged that the T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Kentucky and the obstetrician were negligent during her labor and delivery of her son, resulting in her son being born with spastic quadriplegia (a form of cerebral palsy). Jurors found the hospital negligent and liable, however, the doctor was cleared of any liability. Despite the evidence and jury award of $18.27 million suggesting medical malpractice, the hospital and its nursing staff admit to no wrongdoing. The plaintiff agreed to settle for $17.5 million. In return, the hospital agreed not to appeal the verdict.

In 2007, the expected mother arrived at the hospital to delivery her son. The doctor ordered Pitocin, a labor induced drug, known to cause complications for many women and newborns. According to the lawsuit, the obstetrician left “standing orders for the administration of the Pitocin,” and informed attending medical staff that the contractions should not exceed more than four contractions within an hour. Additionally, the doctor encouraged a lower epidural dose as a preventative measure, as the mother was having trouble pushing during the final stages of labor. Despite doctor’s orders, evidence revealed that the hospital staff did not follow the doctor’s orders and had the woman exceed the maximum amount contractions per hour for an entire six hours, resulting in oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. Additionally, nurses failed to reduce the epidural dose, which allegedly caused the baby to become stuck in the birth canal, also resulting in oxygen deprivation. The child now suffers from spastic quadriplegia, a severe form of cerebral palsy.

Children with spastic quadriplegia usually suffer widespread brain damage or significant brain malformations. Most children with spastic quadriplegia are never able to walk and have trouble speaking and being understood. Additionally, children with this form of cerebral palsy tend to display a floppy neck and severe stiffness in the limbs. They often suffer from frequent seizures that are particularly difficult to manage. The little boy will require life-long care for his disability; his estimated life expectancy is 67 years. These factors may have ultimately contributed to the jury award.

Although the case took nearly eight years to settle, the couple is happy to know their daughter will be provided for their rest of her life.

I don’t know this family’s financial situation, but I would guess that the medical expenses alone left them financially strapped. During this long ordeal, they may have qualified for litigation funding, a non-recourse cash advance against their pending lawsuit. Even if they did not settle and an appeal was filed, litigation funding could have still been an option to alleviate some financial burdens.

The level and expense of care needed for a special needs child are high. While litigation funding cannot solve physical and emotional issues, a lawsuit cash advance can substantially lessen the financial issues. Funding is based solely on the strength of the case; if the case is reviewed and appears to be winnable, the application will likely be approved with funds available within 24 – 48 hours. No money is owed until the case successfully settles at which time repayment is made from the proceeds of the case. If the plaintiff loses the case, repayment is waived completely. The application process is quick and easy by phone or online because we don’t care about credit-worthiness or job history. Most documentation we need to determine case merit is requested from, and provided by, the plaintiffs’ attorney.

If you have filed, or plan to file, a medical malpractice lawsuit and are represented by an attorney, you may be eligible for medical malpractice litigation funding. Litigation Funding Corporation is one of the few litigation financing companies with the expertise to evaluate and provide legal finance for these complicated cases. For a free, no-obligation consultation or funding analysis, contact us online or by phone.

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