Florida Supreme Court Says Family Can Sue Hospital for Girl’s Brain Damage Injuries

According to the state’s highest court, the parents of Trista Bennett can sue St. Vincent’s Medical Center for Florida medical malpractice instead of going through a state fund for birthing injuries. The girl, now 10, sustained permanent brain damage after her delivery.

Bennett was delivered by C-section at the hospital after her mother was involved in a car accident. The infant had to be resuscitated after her birth. She later developed respiratory distress and was moved from the newborn nursery to the special care section. She then started to experience kidney problems and liver issues. On October 3, 2001, Bennett stopped breathing after suffering from a pulmonary hemorrhage.

In their Florida medical malpractice complaint, Tammy and Robert Bennett are accusing obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. William H. Long and the hospital of negligence. They believe their daughter was given too much intravenous fluid and that the hospital waited until it was too late to test her for serum electrolyte derangements.

The hospital had contended that the Florida medical malpractice case fell under the state’s Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan, which is a non-fault program that is supposed to cover the birth-related neurological injuries of newborns who did not get enough oxygen during labor, delivery, and resuscitation. The Bennetts, however, claimed that their daughter’s brain injury occurred after the “post-delivery period,” and they therefore can sue.

An administrative law judge sided with the Bennetts. The Florida First District Court of Appeal then reversed the ruling. Now, the Florida Supreme Court of Florida has overturned the appellate court’s ruling.

Brain-damaged girl’s parents can sue hospital and doctor, Florida court rules, American Medical News, August 1, 2011

Read the Florida Supreme Court’s Decision
(PDF)


Related Web Resource:

The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan


More Blog Posts:

Florida Woman that Delivered Baby into Toilet Sues Carrollwood Hospital for Medical Malpractice, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2008
West Palm Beach Parents that Gave Birth to Stillborn Twins Say They Will Sue Florida Hospital For Medical Malpractice, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 29, 2008
Palm Beach County Doctors Cite Fear of Medical Malpractice as a Reason for the Increase in C-Section Deliveries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 15, 2008

Miami Medical Malpractice
It can be devastating to have your child’s irrevocably altered for the worse because medical professionals made a mistake when providing her with care. It is important that you work with a Miami medical malpractice law firm who will work hard to pursue your recovery and help you hold the responsible parties accountable in civil court.