A King County jury verdict awarded $4,248,200 today to the family of a Seattle area girl born with severe brain damage in 2003 after a traumatic delivery at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland.
After deliberating for over 3 days after the five week trial in Tavares vs. Evergreen Hospital, the jury found the hospital negligent based upon claims they ignored signs of severe fetal distress and failed to timely notify a doctor, which resulted in the infant’s asphyxiation for over 20 minutes prior to an emergency C-section being performed.
The five-year-old child from Maple Valley is now severely disabled, suffering from cerebral palsy and brain damage. As a result of oxygen deprivation, the full term child was born with retardation, severe disabilities, cerebral palsy, and a much shortened live expectancy.
“This tragedy was caused when attending nurses did not notify a doctor in time to do a crash C-section which could have prevented the injury,” said attorney John Budlong, who with attorney Ron Bemis, represented the family of the child.
The hospital denied any liability by its nurses and claimed the cause was pre-existing injury occurring days before entering the hospital.
The jury, however, sided with the plaintiffs who claimed that the delay in performing a C-section was a cause of the injuries to the infant.
“When there are signs of fetal distress, prompt intervention is required, and these patients did not receive that intervention in time to ensure the birth of a healthy child” Budlong said.
“By this verdict the jury has held the hospital answerable for not providing safe and timely care to its patients in the circumstances,” added Bemis.
The award includes future medical and home care expenses, lost future earnings capacity, and past medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering, and other general damages for the child.