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Florida jury gives parents award in medical malpractice claim

The parents of a toddler were recently awarded a large settlement in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought against a Palm Beach Gardens clinic. This is the second settlement involving this family; the parents had reached a private settlement with a local Medical Center.

Medical malpractice claims are intended to help the victim of hospital, physician, or other staff negligence. Injuries that arise from these kinds of negligence can result in severe disabilities and long-term care. For these Florida parents, the injuries that their toddler son was born with will require a lifetime of medical services.

According to the article, the parents had gone to the clinic during the pregnancy for a sonogram. Both the obstetrician as well as a technician reported that the child was healthy and had all four of his limbs. But shockingly the child was born without any arms and only one leg.

As you can imagine, there are a number of challenges that the child will face, emotionally and physically. Raising the child will likely be extremely expensive given the different types of technology and services that will be required to provide any sort of a normal life for him.

While the clinic and doctor think that the law wasn't applied properly, the jury thought otherwise. They found that had the sonogram mistake not been made, the parents would have made much different choices about whether to raise the child.

Lawsuits such as this one not only provide financial compensation to the family of the victim, but can also raise awareness and lead to changes in legislation that can help protect families in the future. After this couple filed the lawsuit, there has been a change in pregnancy check-ups requiring each limb to be separately identified.

Source: Orlando Sentinel: "Jury awards $4.5 million to parents of child born with no arms, one leg," Jane Musgrave, Sept. 9, 2011

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