Unfortunately, birth injury lawyers find all too much work today. On average, seven out of every 1,000 babies will suffer a birth injury, such as cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy. Overall that works out to about 28,000 per year, 2,333 per month, 538 per week, 76 per day, and three per hour. In one of the more high-profile cases the country is currently facing, a military family has brought a birth injury lawsuit against the United States government, according to the legal industry news source injurylawyer-news.com.
The case stems from a 2009 incident in which Air Force veteran Jorge Ortiz and his wife, an active duty Air Force Captain, welcomed their newborn baby into the world at the Evans Army Community Hospital in Colorado. All things were going just fine during the planned C-section until medical personnel gave the mother Ortiz an antihistamine to counteract an allergic reaction, despite the fact that it was on her list known medical allergies they provided the hospital.
As a result, the mother’s blood pressure dropped dramatically, which caused her baby to suffer oxygen deprivation while still in the womb. The baby ultimately experienced severe nerve and brain damage, and now at six years old requires physical and occupational therapy.
After the incident the family immediately sought the help of medical malpractice lawyers to help pay for the extra medical care and attention their daughter would need going forward. The average compensation for a medical malpractice lawsuit that occurred in the inpatient setting was around $363,000. The initial birth injury lawsuit was quickly dismissed under the Feres doctrine by a district court.
The Feres doctrine basically states that members of the armed services and/or their immediate families cannot sue the government based on injuries sustained or arising from “activity incident to military service.” Because the birth injury lawsuit stems from an army hospital and the wife was active duty at the time, the court said it applies.
This past October Ortiz filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to try and have his family’s case heard. While he does believe in the Feres doctrine as it pertains to frivolous lawsuits and claims against the government, he believes his daughter should not have to suffer for the rest of her life simply because her mother gave birth on a military base.
The government has until January 18 to file a response to the petition.