Family Awarded $29 Million for Botched Birth

Judge awards almost 30 million for negligence

By Susan Rivera
|  Tuesday, Apr 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:15 AM CDT
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Family Awarded $29 Million for Botched Birth

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HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 25: Mr. Rounder, InTouch Health?s RP-6 for Remote Presence robot, recharges February 25, 2005 at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey. Mr. Rounder, standing at 5 feet, 4 inches and 215 pounds, is the latest in physician-to-patient communication technology. The robot includes two-way video and 24-infrared sensors to navigate its travels throughout the hospital. The doctor?s image is displayed on a flat-screen computer monitor mounted on top of the robot, which can rotate 340 degrees and pivot up and down. The doctor views the patient and surroundings through a video camera located above the monitor allowing live interactive communication. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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A Gurnee family was awarded almost $30 million after suing a group of federally employed physicians working at Northwestern University for negligence they say resulted in their physical and mental disabilities for their newborn son, reports the Sun-Times.

The lawsuit brought by the Arroyo family charges that doctors ignored an infection in the mother before the child was born. That infection spread to the boy's brain and caused him to be born with cerebral palsy. Now Christian  cannot walk, talk or eat through his mouth.

“Had the federal government’s doctors followed the standard of care and provided the antibiotics to Maria or Christian at the appropriate times, Christian would have been a normal baby boy,” said family attorney David J. Pritchard to the Sun-Times.

Maria Arroyo says the doctor's ignorance resulted in permanent brain damage and left Christian a quadriplegic.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve ruled in favor of the family and awarded them $22.6 million dollars on top of a $6.5 million settlement the family received from Northwestern in 2009.

“This verdict represents the loss suffered by Christian both economically due to his extensive needs during the course of his lifetime, as well as the noneconomic loss including Christian's loss of a normal life,” said another attorney, Patrick A. Salvi II.

The award is high because the doctors were federal. Federal officials have not commented on the verdict.
 

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