A Virginia child with brain damage and cerebral palsy caused by oxygen deprivation at birth has received a $1.35 million settlement. The plaintiff asserted that the doctors failed to respond to their son’s deteriorating condition in the hours before his birth. The doctors at the University of Virginia denied any allegations of medical negligence and further argued that they were immune from suit because they were employed by a Foundation that provided care to indigent patients.
The Supreme Court of Virginia recently ruled that the Foundation that employs the doctors (the University of Virginia Foundation) followed the model of a profitable commercial business and was not a charitable institution and therefore was not immune from suit under the charitable immunity doctrine. The charitable immunity doctrine had previously prevented medical negligence suits from being pursued against the University of Virginia Foundation.
The medical malpractice cap in Virginia imposes its harshest consequences on children and families who are devastated by a birth injury. The settlement with UVA, although in excess of $1.3 million dollars will pay only a small portion of the $9 million dollars in life-long care that this child will need. Pierce & Thornton has experience in medical negligence cases involving injured children. If you or a family member has a child who suffered a birth injury, call Pierce & Thornton for assistance.