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Parents claim medical malpractice led to cerebral palsy


One of the greatest challenges Montana parents can face is the birth of a child with severe disabilities. When the disabilities are the result of medical malpractice, the parents' emotional suffering is compounded by the knowledge that the birth injuries were preventable. In Oregon recently, three separate families have sued a single hospital, all alleging that negligence in the delivery room led to lifelong disabilities for their children.

One set of parents allege their child suffered permanent brain damage and now has cerebral palsy as a result of doctor error. The parents claim that doctors failed to react quickly enough to complications in the labor process.

According to the lawsuit, the physicians failed to realize in time that the mother would need a C-section, and then they waited too long to begin the procedure. As a result, the parents claim their infant son was nonresponsive after delivery and went without oxygen for a 14-minute period. The lawsuit alleges that as a result of his severe birth injuries, their son will require lifelong care. The other two lawsuits make similar allegations.

Medical malpractice cases are complex. The victim or family must prove that the physicians or other medical professionals failed to meet the accepted standard of care in their area of specialty. To meet this burden of proof, expert witnesses must be called to give testimony at the trial. When a family suspects that a loved one was injured or died due to medical malpractice, an attorney who practices in this area can help them evaluate their case.

Source: KPTV.com, "3 families sue Silverton Hospital for malpractice," Andrew Padula, April 11, 2014

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