The Florida House of Representatives passed a $15 million claims bill on March 5, 2012, for a 14-year-old boy to compensate him for permanent injuries he suffered at birth. The Senate passed the bill two days later, sending it to the desk of Governor Rick Scott. According to WZVN-TV, a jury awarded the boy and his family $30 million five years ago for the crippling brain injuries he suffered at birth that led to him being diagnosed with severe dystonic cerebral palsy. However, the hospital was only obligated to pay $200,000 because it has sovereign immunity, a judicial doctrine that prevents a department or agency of the government from civil suits or criminal prosecution.
While the boy’s mother told WZVN that the amount “should be able to support him throughout his life,” an attorney for Lee Memorial Health System insisted that the hospital did nothing wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average prevalence of cerebral palsy is 1 in 303 children. The CDC says that the problem with brain development that causes cerebral palsy often happens before birth or soon after being born.
These types of medical malpractice cases can be extremely difficult processes for families to endure after placing personal trust in these hospitals to safely deliver their newborns. And cerebral palsy is just one of the birth injuries that can result from incidences of medical malpractice. On Friday, we will further examine some of the other issues that can arise out of medical malpractice cases.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. – Orlando personal injury attorneys