Jury finds hospital accountable for little boy’s disability

Cerebral palsy is a motor condition that in the vast majority of cases is caused by injuries suffered by a child during pregnancy or birth. The condition may not be diagnosed for months or even years, but most children are diagnosed at a young age. The types of brain injury that lead to cerebral palsy occur under a variety of circumstances, and it is important that parents of children with cerebral palsy understand what led to the disability.

Pennsylvania parents will be interested in one family’s struggle after a hospital failed to treat a little boy for a severe case of jaundice. In most cases, jaundice is mild, but it still requires treatment. The mother even complained about her newborn’s yellowing skin, but the hospital sent them on their way.

After the little boy began vomiting, his parents took him to a different hospital where he was correctly diagnosed with hyperbilirubinemia — a severe type of jaundice that can lead to cerebral palsy.

At the second hospital, the infant underwent two blood transfusions, but sadly the jaundice had already done significant damage. Six years later, the little boy is unable to walk or talk, and his disability is permanent.

The family sued the birth hospital, which is in New York, and a jury recently found that the hospital failed to properly treat the child for jaundice. The hospital indicated that it would appeal the jury’s $25 million verdict, which is meant to help the family provide for the little boy’s 24-hour care while his mother, a healthcare worker, and his father, a cab driver, continue to work.

Parents throughout Pennsylvania know how difficult it can be to balance all of life’s challenges, and this is especially true for parents whose children have suffered a congenital injury. Knowing your legal options in these situations may be a solid step toward achieving that balance.

Source: New York Daily News, “Disabled Brooklyn boy awarded $25 million in untreated jaundice case against New York Methodist Hospital,” Doyle Murphy, Nov. 19, 2013