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Birth injuries: Parents awarded $800,000 after child born dead

When an expectant mother goes into labor there is a lot of excitement, anticipation and naturally some fear. Having made it to the end of a pregnancy, most mothers would not expect to suffer or have their child suffer a birth injury. Unfortunately, birth injuries do occur and may threaten the life or quality of life of the child. Delaware parents may be interested to understand why one couple filed a lawsuit following the birth of their child.

After realizing she was in labor, the expectant mother called the hospital to notify them of their pending arrival. The couple expected to arrive within 30 minutes but made the trip with five minutes to spare. Despite the forewarning, documents in the lawsuit indicate that the mother was not examined by a physician until an hour after her arrival.  

Most hospitals monitor the fetal heart rate with a special device that reads the heart rate through the mother's abdomen. It is believed that some heart patterns or heart rate decreases can be an indication of fetal distress. According to the lawsuit, there was evidence that the baby experienced concerning heart rate decreases, but there appeared to be a lack of urgency to deliver the baby. After the baby's heart rate appeared to stop on the monitor, the baby was born but was not alive.

The couple filed a lawsuit in civil court, and the jury determined that the couple should receive compensation in the amount of $800,000 for their loss and tragic experience. Delaware parents who have suffered a difficult loss from similar birth injuries or delay in treatment may be entitled to legal recourse in civil court. Medical malpractice attorneys can assist and inform parents of their legal options.

Source:, "Couple awarded $800,000 in hospital lawsuit", Zack McDonald, March 15, 2018

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