Miami Couple Whose Child Suffered Fatal Brain Injury Caused by Florida Birthing Malpractice Receives $10.2M Wrongful Death Award

A US district judge has awarded Oscar Rodriguez and Raiza Bravo $10.2 million for the wrongful death of their son Kevin. The little boy died at the age of 3 of a brain seizure that was related to the Florida brain injury that he sustained during his birth at the US Naval Hospital in Jacksonville.

According to the plaintiff’s, the hospital staff did not realize that Kevin’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck during delivery. This resulted in serious brain damage.

During his short life, Kevin needed a special feeding tube so that his saliva could be sucked out of his mouth and he wouldn’t choke to death. Rodriguez would eventually have to remove their son from life support. The boy died in Miami.

Initially, U.S. District Senior Judge Jose Gonzalez Jr. had awarded the Miami couple $60.5 million in 2005 for Florida birthing malpractice. Kevin, who was still alive at the time but could not swallow, speak, sit up, or display any high function, was going to require a lifetime of medical care. The judge reduced the amount to $40.5 million following a government motion for reduction. However, the Florida medical malpractice case became a wrongful death one after Kevin passed away.

The government has argued that the couple should only receive $600,000 in damages. They claimed that the couple’s grief wasn’t any more significant than that of anyone else that had lost a loved one. The judge, however, disagreed.

Miami Birthing Malpractice
Florida Birth injuries can catastrophically alter a child’s life. Examples of injuries that can occur during labor or delivery:

• Fetal distress
• Fever
• Seizures
• Shoulder dystocia
• Cerebral palsy
• Brachial plexus
• Brain damage
• Erb’s palsy
• Meconium aspiration
• Brachial plexus palsy

Fla. Couple Awarded $10.2 Million in Significant Wrongful Death Case, Law.com, September 27, 2010
Read the 2005 Opinion (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Birth Injury, Merck
Brain Injury Association
Birthing Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog