$144 Million Awarded in Birth Injury Lawsuit

Posted On October 9th, 2011 By CSSFIRM.COM

When Kimberly VanSlembrouck went into the delivery room, she put her trust in her doctor’s expertise to make sound medical decisions. Instead, her 10-pound, 12-ounce baby was forced through the birth canal, causing hemorrhaging and resulting in severe cerebral palsy.

According to court documents, the birth injury left baby Markel with a fractured left clavicle obtained during the delivery. She also “had no respiratory effort,” as well as seizures. Markell VanSlembrouck is now 15 years old and is a quadriplegic, requiring 24-hour care.

The lawsuit was filed in 2006 against the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan and delivering doctor, Andrew Halperin. The lawsuit claimed that the doctors should have realized that Markell was too large to be born by normal means and should have been delivered via a caesarean section. In addition, Halperin allegedly gave VanSlembrouck Pitocin, a dangerous drug used to cause the uterus to contract in order to force birth.

Earlier this month, after a three-week trial and three days of deliberation, a Michigan jury returned a verdict finding that the hospital was guilty of negligence. The jury awarded VanSlembrouck $144 million, which will pay for 24-hour care for her daughter. This marks the largest medical malpractice award in Michigan history.

Markell’s mother told reporters that the lawsuit wasn’t about the money. “It’s not about getting rich. It’s about helping a baby who never asked for this.”

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