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Mother wins $1.4 million birth injury verdict

Birth injuries are one of the most tragic things that can happen to New Jersey families. Birth injuries can arise from a variety of causes including the negligence of doctors, nurses or other medical professionals. The failure to follow proper procedures before, during, and after a birth can have longstanding consequences for a mother and child including abrupted placenta, shoulder dystocia, cerebral palsy, and death. Severe disabilities from birth injuries can result in a child in need of a lifetime of medical care and the death of a child can emotionally traumatize a mother.

One mother who was emotionally traumatized by a fatal birth injury incident recently won a $1.4 million award. This headline-grabbing case involved the decapitation of the mother’s premature child due to a doctor’s failure to remove a cerclage. A cerclage is a shoelace-like string that keeps a child in the mother’s womb and the mother’s cervix closed. The doctor allegedly failed to removed the cerclage before the child’s birth and the string acted like a noose that decapitated the child.

The doctors deny any wrongdoing and maintain that the child could not have been delivered through the cerclage. It is unclear why the baby was decapitated in that case however.

The mother was traumatized by the incident, which she saw because the doctors failed to block her view of the child’s decapitation. The child’s head was the stitched back on and the mother held her lifeless newborn throughout the night and into the next day.

The mother’s award covers her lost wages and emotional trauma arising out of this incident, among other things.

Source: The Courier-Journal, “Baby-decapitation case: Mom awarded nearly $1.4 million,” Oct. 7, 2011

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