$120 Million Verdict Awarded in Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawsuit

Cerebral palsy is a devastating condition that affects a person’s ability to move, maintain balance, and control their muscles. It is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the brain, often occurring shortly before or during birth. In some cases, cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice, where negligent care during delivery leads to avoidable brain damage. 

One such medical malpractice claim recently made headlines, as a Wayne County, Michigan jury awarded $120 million in damages to the family of a teenager who suffered cerebral palsy and other injuries due to birth trauma that they say could have been prevented with proper medical care.

Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Brought by the Family of K’Jon Drake

K’Jon Drake, now 13 years old, was born with severe cerebral palsy and blindness as a result of medical negligence during his delivery in 2010 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. His mother, Kirsten Drake, was 39.5 weeks pregnant when she went to the hospital, experiencing swelling, edema, and uterine contractions. Recognizing the poor fetal heart indications, the medical staff decided to perform a C-section.

However, what followed was a negligent delay of more than two hours before the procedure was performed. This delay deprived K’Jon of oxygen, leading to irreversible brain damage. The consequences were devastating – blindness, severe cerebral palsy, and an inability to walk. The family filed a lawsuit, alleging medical malpractice and seeking justice for the preventable trauma their son endured.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy and Its Causes

Cerebral palsy is a complex disorder that affects individuals in various ways. It stems from abnormal brain development or damage to the brain, impacting a person’s motor skills, muscle control, and posture. While most cases of cerebral palsy are due to genetics, approximately 20% are caused by birth injuries. Lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during delivery, known as neonatal anoxic brain injury, or traumatic head injury during labor, are common causes of cerebral palsy resulting from birth trauma.

Trauma During Delivery a Potential Cause of Cerebral Palsy

In some cases, when a baby is in a difficult position or experiences complications during delivery, medical interventions such as forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery may be necessary. However, these procedures carry risks, and if performed with excessive force or negligence, they can cause trauma to the baby’s head and result in varying degrees of cerebral palsy. Forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery should always be conducted with utmost care and precision to avoid permanent and irreversible health issues.

Birth Complications and the Risk of Cerebral Palsy

Various birth complications can also lead to cerebral palsy. Placenta detachment, uterine rupture, and issues with umbilical cord prolapse can disrupt the baby’s oxygen supply, resulting in brain damage. It is the responsibility of the medical professionals on-site to promptly and carefully address any signs of fetal distress to ensure the baby receives adequate oxygen. Failure to do so may lead to legal action under the umbrella of medical malpractice.

Genetic Causes and Other Risk Factors

It is important to note that if cerebral palsy is caused by genetic deficiencies, there may be no legal recourse. However, in instances where medical negligence is a contributing factor, families may pursue legal action. 

Medical Malpractice and Birth Injury Lawsuits

When parents suspect that their child’s cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice, they may choose to pursue a lawsuit against the hospital and/or medical staff. Medical malpractice lawsuits aim to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for preventable birth trauma and provide financial support to improve the child’s quality of life.

Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Information

Cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuits allege that affected infants suffer irreversible brain damage during or shortly after birth as a result of medical negligence or improper care, leading to cerebral palsy. Learn more by clicking on the button.
Scroll to Top