West Virginia Hospital Settles Birth Injury Case for Confidential Amount
Recently, a lawsuit against St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia was confidentially settled and dismissed from federal court. The case involved an infant who was allegedly injured during delivery.
The situation began back in August 2011, when Kayla Christy was in labor and admitted to the hospital. Nursing employees of United Health Professionals, Inc. and St. Mary’s were charged with monitoring her labor and the fetus’s health during the hours that followed. Yet during the labor, Christy claimed that the fetal monitor showed signs of non-reassuring fetal rate tracings, yet the nurses failed to recognize or treat it in time. Christy claimed that as a result of the hospital employees’ failure to deliver her daughter in a timely manner, when Alaina Christy was born, she suffered from permanent brain damage along with other injuries.
Christy argued that the hospital’s care was below the standard of care that ordinary prudent nurses, midwives, physicians, or other medical staff would have exercised under largely similar circumstances. As a result of Alaina Christy’s injuries, she will never be able to live independently and will incur medical expenses in the amount of $250,000. Christy also claimed that, due to her daughter’s injury, she and her husband have been deprived of Alaina’s consortium, society, and comfort. The Christy family sought compensatory damages for their daughter’s injuries.
Now with the confidential settlement, Christy and her husband have agreed to release and discharge the hospital employees from all liability that arose as a result of the hospital employees’ alleged conduct. Therefore, the U.S. District Court dismissed the lawsuit.
It is common for parties to settle a case before it goes to trial. Litigation can be expensive and, at trial, even a party with a strong case may have just a 50-50 chance of winning on the merits. Settlements usually allow injured parties to get at least some of what they want, while the party sued can walk away without suffering too great an economic loss. Settlements are often very flexible, both with respect to their terms and with respect to when they can be entered into — some parties will enter into settlement the day of trial, or even during trial. Yet although settlements are common, they are not always possible when both parties are firmly at odds. If that is the case, assuming the lawsuit survives a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment, trial is inevitable. At trial, a plaintiff in a birth injury lawsuit will have the burden of proving that the hospital employees’ actions were negligent and the negligence was the direct cause of the birth injury. If you live in Maryland or Washington, D.C. and are interested in filing a lawsuit, contact a Baltimore birth injury attorney today.
Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman has more than 100 years of collective experience dealing with medical malpractice and birth injury cases. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the firm represents residents in Maryland and Washington, D.C. If you have a birth injury or other medical malpractice issue, contact us today for a free consultation.