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Family receives $58 million in medical malpractice suit

In Michigan, many medical malpractice cases have an upper limit that caps the amount a party can receive in any case. Not every state has those limits, and one family recently broke that state's record for receiving the largest medical malpractice settlement.

The family received a $58 million award on behalf of their 8-year-old son, who developed cerebral palsy because of an improperly performed delivery. The sum broke the previous state record for the largest award in a malpractice suit.

The family contends that the child's cerebral palsy can be directly attributed to the brain damage he received when a doctor waited too long to deliver him as an infant. They also claim that the procedure itself, a Caesarian section, was performed incorrectly.

Information from the National Institute of Health explains that cerebral palsy is commonly caused by injuries sustained to the brain while still in the womb. The symptoms of the condition can vary in intensity, but this child's cerebral palsy is particularly severe, preventing him from talking, eating and walking. He also suffers from frequent seizures.

The family's attorney explained that the family needs the money to pay for the child's medical treatment. Out of the total sum, the jury specified that $8 million should be used to pay for medical expenses, while the rest is intended to cover the pain and suffering for the boy's family.

The doctor's attorney argued that the verdict was not based on hard evidence, explaining that his client plans to appeal the decision sometime in the near future.

Source: Huffington Post, "Family Gets $58 Million In Record-Breaking Malpractice Suit," 26 May 2011

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