A jury has decided to award the parents of 2-year-old Bryan Santana $4.5 million in Palm Beach medical malpractice damages in their civil case against Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches, OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches, and Dr. Marie Morel. Santana, now 2, has one leg and no arms. He was born in October 2008.
Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana sued the defendants for Palm Beach birthing malpractice claiming that Mejia would have never carried the pregnancy to term if they were aware of their son’s severe birth defects. Yet even though Mejia underwent more than one ultrasound, her OB/GYN and technicians at both centers failed to notice that their son was missing three limbs. The two of them said they didn’t know until after they saw their son that he would be so severely impaired. The defendants’ attorneys, meantime, countered that Bryan’s parents should have agreed to an amniocentesis, which might have detected their son’s abnormalities. The couple, however, said they decided not to have that procedure because they feared that doing so might cause Mejia to miscarry.
Mejia and Santana had originally sought $9 million. They made it clear, however, that the compensation they were seeking isn’t for their own mental trauma and emotional anguish but for their son’s wheelchairs, surgeries, attendants, prosthesis, and other needs he will require for the rest of his life. The jury awarded them half that amount when they decided that the ultrasound technician was 15% liable, while 85% of the liability was assigned to Dr. Morel, for errors made that resulted in the incorrect reading of the ultrasound results. The defendants plan to appeal the verdict.
There are medical procedures and tests available that a mother can undergo during pregnancy to make sure that the fetus is a viable and healthy one. These tests are also important for determining whether there are any birth defects that might so serious that terminating the pregnancy is best option.
Jury awards West Palm Beach parents of child born with no arms, one leg $4.5 million, Palm Beach Post, September 10, 2011
Couple sues doctor for baby’s disabilities, UPI, September 8, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Birth Defects, MedLinePlus
Birth Defects, American Pregnancy Association
More Blog Posts:
Florida Medical Malpractice Cap Upheld by US Appeals Court, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, May 29, 2011 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
Report Links Topamax to Birth Defects, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 22, 2008 Continue reading