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Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

baby holding father's fingerThe New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Sanders Firm represent families who have been the victims of birth injury resulting in cerebral palsy. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy may be difficult after birth. It is important to consult an attorney experienced with medical malpractice, birth injury and hospital negligence in order to know when it is appropriate to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit.

Cerebral Palsy is set of neurological disorders that involves brain and nervous system functions, and affects a child’s movement, cognitive abilities, hearing and sight. There is no cure for cerebral palsy (CP), a lifelong condition that can be caused by damage to the fetal brain due to prolonged periods of oxygen deprivation. The disorder is classified into different types including spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, hypotonic, and mixed.

Depending on the severity and type of cerebral palsy, children who are afflicted by this type of birth injury may be unable to walk without special aids, suffer chronic seizures and serious developmental delays, while others may only have slight issues with mobility.

Cerebral palsy isn’t always considered a birth injury, as there are many underlying factors that can cause the condition in newborns. However, an estimated 10 percent of all cerebral palsy cases are attributed to some form of medical malpractice shortly before or during labor.

The March of Dimes states that two to three out of every 1,000 children are affected by cerebral palsy. In lawsuits stemming from fetal hypoxia during childbirth, the most common cause is a delayed C-section, followed by mismanagement of shoulder dystocia and misuse of vacuum suction or forceps.

Parents who are facing the financial strain of raising a child with cerebral palsy may have no other recourse but legal action, if negligence is suspected, in order to face the lifetime’s worth of challenges that special needs may present.

New York birth injury attorneys at The Sanders Firm boast an impressive track record of successful verdicts and multi-million dollar settlements for medical malpractice cases.

Our veteran legal team will pursue justice on behalf of families who have suffered a preventable tragedy due to the negligence or recklessness of health care providers. Compensation secured in a cerebral palsy lawsuit can help offset the costs associated with caring for a disabled child who will require continual medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy and costly medicines for the rest of his or her life.

Medical malpractice and cerebral palsy birth injuries

Doctors, nurses, midwives and other attending delivery room personnel have a duty to monitor the health and heart rate of both mother and child, ensuring life-threatening complications are avoided – especially in high risk pregnancies where the mother suffers gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. Babies that are abnormally large and more likely to experience shoulder dystocia are often delivered via Cesarean section rather than risk the dangers posed by a prolonged vaginal birth. If medical professionals fail to adhere to proper standards of care during this critical time, permanent injuries including fetal brain damage and cerebral palsy can result from negligence or medical malpractice

If hospital staff failed to detect or properly manage umbilical cord problems, symptoms of fetal distress or other known risk factors, a NY birth injury lawsuit can be filed, and they may be held liable for damages in court.

When determining eligibility for filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit, our attorneys will examine the circumstances leading up to the child’s birth, including all medical records, fetal heart rate strips and measures taken during labor. In the event that a hospital or clinic failed to have the proper medical staff present, or neglected to perform a timely C-section or address emergent complications in the fetus, they may be held legally accountable for those acts and omissions.

Symptoms and treatments for cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy symptoms are usually seen in children at two years of age, though signs are sometimes evident as young as three months. One of the first indicators of cerebral palsy are delays in reaching developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting up, crawling and walking.

Since there are several forms of CP, symptoms can vary and may include:

  • Tremors
  • Unsteady gait
  • Seizures
  • Lack of coordination
  • Muscle weakness or stiffness
  • Cognitive impairment and learning disabilities
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision problems
  • Incontinence

As there is no cure for the disorder, treatments focus on reducing symptoms and complications, and helping children lead the most normal lives possible. Parents may spend more than $1 million caring for a child with CP for the duration of his life.

In addition to special schooling, most children with CP may also need regular visits with:

  • Primary care doctor and pediatric neurologist
  • Orthopedist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Child psychologist or psychiatrist
  • Developmental therapist
  • Social worker
  • Special Ed teacher

Financial and emotional burnout among parents and caretakers of children with CP is common, but several organizations provide support and resources, enabling families to better cope.

Recent cerebral palsy lawsuit verdicts

In 2013, a Baltimore family was awarded $21 million after a jury found that negligent care by a local hospital caused the plaintiffs’ child to be born with severe brain trauma and cerebral palsy. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that a delayed Caesarean section caused their son to suffer oxygen deprivation, leading to his permanent disability.

Another malpractice suit brought in 2010 rendered one of the Maryland’s largest verdicts, when jurors awarded $55 million to a couple whose son suffered a similar injury at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The boy’s CP hasn’t affected his mental abilities, though he has limited use of his legs and trouble writing and completing other simple tasks with his hands.

New York birth injury lawyer

If you believe your child suffered a birth injury resulting in cerebral palsy, The Sanders Firm offers free case reviews for all prospective clients residing in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island or Long Island. There are no upfront costs to you, and our attorneys never collect a fee unless you recover compensation at trial or through settlement negotiations. Call toll-free: 1.800 FAIR PLAY (800.324.7752) to schedule your consultation today.

  1. Baltimore Sun, Jury awards Glen Burnie family $21 million in Harbor Hospital medical case, https://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-07-31/health/bs-md-ci-harbor-verdict-20120731_1_million-verdict-baltimore-jury-cerebral-palsy

  2. New York Times, Cerebral Palsy Overview, https://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/cerebral-palsy/

  3. Cerebral PalsyCosts.com, Costs for Children, https://cerebralpalsycosts.com/children.html

  4. WebMD, Cerebral Palsy, https://children.webmd.com/tc/cerebral-palsy-topic-overview

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