In Massachusetts, it has been determined that a little girl born to Luis Gallego and Jeanette Gutierrez suffered a severe brain injury as a result of her doctor’s negligence during her birth. When the parent’s first filed their claim, they named six of the doctors who attended to their daughter. The court ruled that five of the doctors did nothing to contribute to the child’s medical condition. The sixth doctor, Dr. David Seubert, was another story.
When Jeanette Gutierrez was 28 weeks pregnant, she was admitted to Baystate Medical Center because her baby showed significantly reduced movement. The second day of Gutierrez’s stay, her unborn daughter’s heart rate decreased.
The girl, now 11 years old, was born at Baystate Medical Center, which was not a defendant in the case. Her mother arrived at the hospital on September 5, 2004, at 28 weeks pregnant, because the baby’s movements had decreased. Seubert was supposed to be the doctor on call at the time, but he was not at the hospital. Had he been at the hospital, the c-section Gutierrez required could have started immediately. Instead it was delayed several hours during which time her heart rate continued to decrease. By the time she was finally delivered, she was unresponsive and the attending medical staff had to resuscitate her. It’s believed her brain injury is a result of the lack of oxygen rich blood.
The child lived, but she’ll never be able to enjoy a normal life. Not only is she legally blind, but she lacks the motor skills needed to walk, talk, and to feed herself. She can only breath as a result of a tracheotomy and she must be fed via a gastric tube.
Her parents care for her with the help of an in home nursing service.
When the trail hearing concluded, the family was awarded a $30 million. $1.04 million was set aside to help cover the cost of past medical bills, $16.1 million has been set aside to cover the cost of future medical bills. The rest of the money is for physical and mental pain, and to cover the daughters lost earning capacity.
As sad as this story is, it’s not an uncommon one. Statistics indicate that during every hour, an average of 3 newborns suffer a birth injury. Some of these injuries are major, such as the one sustained by Luis Gallego and Jeanette Gutierrez’s daughter, while other’s are minor and don’t impact the child’s future. Many can be avoided.
If you have a child who suffered an injury during labor, you need to contact a birth injury lawyer and discuss the details of the case, or visit this site JohnBales.com. Based on the information you provide, your birth injury lawyer will determine if there’s enough evidence to suggest medical malpractice. If there is, they’ll guide you through the steps needed to make a civil case.
Not only does pursuing a medical malpractice case following a birth injury help you settle your child’s future and pay medical expenses, but it also reminds the medical community that they always have to be diligent while they are caring for patients.