• Birth Injury Leads to 6-Year-Old from Pennsylvania Receiving $40 Million Medical Malpractice Award

    Birth Injury Leads to 6-Year-Old from Pennsylvania Receiving $40 Million Medical Malpractice Award

    Posted on February 16, 2018 by Neil Durkin Law Offices

    When 6-year-old Grayson Charlton and her twin sister were about to be born at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, by all signs both girls were perfectly healthy. Though the birth was scheduled as a cesarean section, the physician proceeded with a vaginal birth, during which it was determined that Grayson was in the breech position. Delivering a baby feet first is a high-risk procedure, and one that the delivering physician, Dr. Steven M. Troy, performed incorrectly: Grayson’s head and neck were not properly protected, leading to trauma during the delivery and a lifetime of need. Now after listening to testimony for two weeks, a Delaware County jury has awarded the child $40.3 million in damages from the doctor, from the hospital, and from the Crozer-Keystone Health System. It is one of the largest such awards in the county’s history, and the large judgment is seen as an indication that the jury was in complete agreement that the care provided by the physician was negligent.

    Grayson’s parents are Kira and Alex Charlton, and the couple filed the lawsuit on their daughter’s behalf just a year after she was born. By then it was well established that she was permanently paralyzed from her torso down. She is now in the first grade and is unable to stand without support. She receives physical therapy several times per week and is expected to be in a wheelchair, remain unable to feed herself, and need extensive medical care for the rest of her life.

    Evidence presented in the case indicated that Dr. Troy “did not have sufficient training, experience or qualifications to undertake such a complicated delivery.” Other testimony indicated that the delivery had been pursued “aggressively”, with the doctor “grasping [Charlton’s] body and pulling her” through the birth canal. According to an incident report memorialized by a nurse, a loud popping sound was heard in the delivery room, which may explain why the child suffered such severe injury.  Days after her birth, Grayson was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where an MRI showed “significant birth trauma”.

    When a physician and/or healthcare facility is found to have delivered care that was below the standard of what would be expected, those who have been hurt by the substandard care are able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses and other damages. In the state of Pennsylvania, there is no limit on the amount that a jury can award a person injured by medical malpractice for pain and suffering. In this case, the $40 million award was broken down into two categories: $30 million was allocated for medical expenses, while another $10 million was provided as compensation for her pain and suffering.

    When a physician or healthcare professional’s negligence results in significant damage, injury, or death, they can be held legally and financially responsible for the harm that they cause. For information on pursuing a medical malpractice case, contact our office today.