In a split decision, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has lowered the award amount that the parents of a boy born with serious brain damage in 2003 at the Mayport Naval Station obstetrics clinic in Jacksonville, Florida will receive.
The Florida birthing malpractice award-originally for $60.5 million-to Kevin Bravo Rodriguez’s family had already been reduced to $40.5 million. But the federal appeals court says this amount is also too much.
The court, however, did not dispute that the hospital and staff members acted negligently. As US Circuit Judge Ed Carnes wrote in the decision, “not… whether the government should pay… but… how much it must pay.” The family’s birthing malpractice lawyer plans to appeal the ruling.
With the original award, a judge in Miami ruled that obstetrician Ken Kushner delayed performing a Caesarean operation on Kevin’s mother for too long. Her labor lasted over 20 hours. Kevin wasn’t breathing when he was born. US District Judge Gonzalez first awarded $60.5 million before reducing it to $40.5 million. $10 million had been awarded for economic damages, but because Kevin died, this portion of the award is gone.
This was the largest verdict issued against the government under the Federal Tort Claims Act. If the appeals court decision stands, the injury case will be retried as a wrongful death lawsuit. Although Dr. Kushner was a contracted civilian and not a naval worker, the court also held the Navy was liable for Kevin’s injuries.
Birthing malpractice can cause catastrophic injuries to infants, including:
• Cerebral Palsy
• Facial Paralysis
• Broken Bones
• Brachial Palsy
• Brain Damage
• Wrongful Death
With offices in West Palm Beach, Miami, and Port St. Lucie, our Florida birth injury attorneys have helped many parents recover compensation for the harm suffered by their babies and families because of birthing errors.
Court chops into hospital award, Jacksonville.com, July 8, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Birth Injuries, University of Virginia Health System
Contact David J. Halberg, PA today.