Jury Awards Family of Child Born Deaf $26 Million

Is my doctor liable for my child’s birth related injuries?

A Brooklyn jury recently awarded the family of a seven-year-old girl over $26 million for her injuries associated with her physician’s failure to monitor her mother’s pregnancy.  The young girl was born prematurely and suffers from hearing loss along with other medical issues. She was awarded $24 million for past and future pain and suffering, and $1.6 million for lost future wages.  Her family also received $500,000 for the wrongful death of her twin sister, who died nearly a month after birth.  Our New York medical malpractice lawyer discusses this important medical malpractice case and your rights if your child suffers a birth injury below.

Facts of the Case

Danielle Madden-Buck conceived twin girls via in vitro fertilization.  As early as 21 weeks into her pregnancy, she showed signs of preterm labor.  She visited her physician’s office on several occasions complaining of cramping and discharge, but was sent home each time.  A sonogram revealed that her cervix had shortened from three to one centimeter, and shortly after she went on to deliver the girls.

Aleigha Buck was born deaf and with paralyzed vocal cords.  She communicates through sign language and uses hearing aids.  Her twin sister did not survive the premature birth.  Madden-Buck’s lawyers asserted at trial that her physician could have taken steps to prevent the preterm labor, including ordering bedrest or prescribing hormones that reduce the risk of preterm delivery.  The jury’s award supports their belief that Aleigha Buck’s injuries could perhaps have been prevented with better monitoring during the pregnancy.

Liability for Birth Injuries

The birth of your child should be a time of joy, but for many parents, complications arise during pregnancy or birth that can potentially result in serious injuries to your newborn child.  Birth injuries can occur before and after child birth.  In order to have a viable claim for medical malpractice against your obstetrician or other health care provider, you will need to establish the physician failed to act as a reasonable doctor would in the same or similar circumstances, resulting in your child’s injury.  If your child was injured during your pregnancy or at birth, contact a medical malpractice attorney for an evaluation of your legal rights.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.