A Massachusetts jury awarded the parents of a child born with severe brain damage nearly $30 million in their medical malpractice lawsuit. Luis Gallego and Jeanette Gutierrez were awarded the verdict after presenting the case of their daughter, Jeniah. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the attending physician, Dr. David Seubert, neglected his duty to care for Ms. Gutierrez during her complicated pregnancy and birth. The jury found that Dr. Seubert’s negligence contributed to Jeniah Gallego’s brain injuries.
Details of the Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
According to hospital records used in the medical malpractice lawsuit, Ms. Gutierrez went to Baystate Medical Center in September 2004. At the time, she was 28 weeks pregnant and reported that the baby had slowed down its movements in the womb. On the evening of September 6, fetal heart monitors showed a steep drop in the baby’s heart rate. The baby was delivered by cesarean section that night, but had to be resuscitated. The medical malpractice lawsuit stated that Dr. Seubert was on call that night, but did not attend the birth.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Lists Daughter’s Conditions
Although the baby survived the birth and resuscitation, the results of the birth injury caused her to live with several types of disability.. Among the disabilities listed in the medical malpractice lawsuit was the child’s inability to speak, walk, or eat on her own. She must breathe through a tracheotomy tube in her throat, which her parents must clean every few minutes to avoid clogging. While she does attend a special school, the medical malpractice lawsuit also cites the child’s severe brain damage and that she may never be able to live on her own.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Award Includes Future Care Costs, Lost Wages
The medical malpractice lawsuit sought compensation to help the parents cover the costs of the child’s disabilities. The jury award totaled out to $29.89 million and included several categories. The jury awarded the parents $1.5 million in damages from birth until now, $1.04 million for previous medical expenses, plus an additional $10 million for mental pain and suffering, disfigurement, and other damages. The biggest share of the medical malpractice lawsuit award was $16.1 million for future care needs.
Doctor’s Attorney Speaks Out On Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Verdict
The original medical malpractice lawsuit targeted six doctors involved in the premature birth. The jury found four of the doctors, who were all medical residents, were not negligent. A fifth doctor had been dropped from the suit before it went to trial. The remaining doctor in the medical malpractice lawsuit, Dr. Seubert, released a statement on the verdict through his attorney. While the statement expressed the doctor’s “tremendous empathy for the family,” he maintains that he and his team of residents “used the best information they were provided…to deliver the best possible care for Ms. Gutierrez and Jeniah.”
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NOTE: This post is a news story and does not imply an endorsement of Arguello Law Firm by any of the parties mentioned herein.