$4.7 million arbitration award for brain injury

The family of a young girl who suffers from global developmental delays has received $4.77 million, the full amount of the available insurance coverage, to help pay the costs of her education and care. The girl’s mother was pregnant for the second time, after her son had been delivered by Cesarean section for failure to progress in labor. As the labor progressed, the baby began to show signs of fetal distress. The attending obstetrician allowed the labor to continue, anticipating an imminent vaginal delivery. The family claimed that the defendant obstetrician, who had not treated the mother prenatally, did not realize that the first delivery had been by Cesarean section, and expected that this labor would go rapidly, especially because the baby was premature. When the obstetrician finally ordered a Cesarean section, she asked for spinal anesthesia, which was ineffective, and had to be converted to general anesthesia, causing additional delay. The baby was born severely asphyxiated and suffers mental and physical disabilities.  The parties agreed to try the liability issues only to an arbitrator, who decided in favor of the family. The parties had agreed that, in the event of a liability finding, the plaintiff would receive the entire remaining amount of the wasting insurance policy coverage, which was approximately $4.77 million.