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Shapiro & Appleton

Jury Awards Premature Birth Victim and Family Over $100 Million

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Best Virginia injury lawyersThe family of a teenager who is suffering from cerebral palsy as a result of a premature birth won a $100 million lawsuit against the hospital where she was born. Stephanie and Amanda Debes were born three months early after. Their suit alleged that this premature birth was the result of St. Vincent’s Medical Center’s failure to give them proper care.

Amanda was born without any problems, but Stephanie suffered a brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy, according to the New York Post.

The family made the wise decision to seek counsel and a lawsuit was filed. At trial, the jury found that the staff at the hospital were negligent in failing to recognize the mother’s contractions before she went into labor. In addition, the staff failed to prevent pre-term delivery of Stephanie and Amanda.

As a result, the jury found the hospital liable for $17 million in past pain and suffering and $60 million in future pain and suffering. The award also includes payment for future medical expenses and lost wages, which brought the total jury award to over $103 million. Unfortunately, the family of the brain injured child will not receive $103 million - not even close. The hospital went bankrupt in 2010 so the actual payout to the family will be limited to the insurance coverage, which is estimated to be $16 million.

Despite the insurance coverage limitation, our firm is glad to see a jury decide in favor of an innocent victim whose life was changed forever due to the negligence of medical professionals. We have handled these types of birth injury cases and understand just how complex and difficult they can be. For example, we handled a case where a child suffered permanent nerve damage due to a birth injury. Fortunately, the jury decided in our favor and awarded our client $2.3 million.

Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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