When Mark Crowell and Sharon Petrosky Crowell filed a birth injury lawsuit, naming St. Luke’s University Hospital and one of the hospital’s doctors as the defendants in the case. The couple stated that they wanted justice for their son, Mathew.
Matthew has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a permanent condition that the Crowell’s believe was triggered as a result of a birth injury sustained during delivery. Cerebral palsy is a name given to a child who sustained brain damage either during the pregnancy or the delivery. Individuals with the condition have problems with balance, limited range of movement, coordination, and muscle control. During the civil trial, Crowell’s report that their son struggles with both physical movement and language development.
When she delivered Matthew in 2009, Sharon Petrosky Crowell reported that as a result of his large size, Matthew became lodged in the birthing canal and Sharon sustained injuries that caused her to hemorrhage. Rather than order an emergency caesarean section, Sharon’s doctor opted to use a vacuum extraction to deliver the baby, a choice that the Crowell’s feel led to the cerebral palsy.
After a two-week civil trial during which the jury heard extensive testimony from both sides of the case, they family was awarded a $55 million verdict. The jury decided that the doctor and the hospital shared equal blame for Matthew Crowell’s medical condition.
The settlement will be used to not only pay for past medical expenses associated with Matthew’s care, but to also set up a trust that will provide him with the financial stability he’ll need for the rest of his life.
California birth injury attorney Drew Warren had this to say when he was asked about the case. “It saddens me that a young boy like Matthew Crowell will be effected permanently by the poor decisions a doctor made in a split second. I’m pleased that his parents opted to pursue a civil birth injury case. Hopefully the jury awarded verdict will be enough to cause both St. Luke’s University Hospital and the birthing doctor to respond differently if they encounter another mother in a similar situation.”
Anyone who had an experience similar to the Crowell’s and feel that their child suffered from a birth injury as a result of the medical team making poor decisions in the delivery room is free to pursue a civil birth injury lawsuit. When they do, it’s important to realize that the defendants listed in the lawsuit won’t simply hand over the asked for settlement.
First there will be a negotiation period during which point both sides try to agree on a settlement that makes everyone happy. If the negation period doesn’t generate a settlement, the case will go to California civil court where a jury will listen to both sides before deciding if a mistake was made, and if it was, how much that mistake is worth. A good California personal injury attorney who has extensive knowledge of birth injury cases, will guide you through the legal process and arrange things in such a manner that your likely to receive the settlement needed to provide for your child.