Because a Massachusetts woman suffered a stroke in 2010 shortly after giving birth to her daughter, a jury in Dedham awarded her a medical malpractice verdict of $35.4 million. The resulting paralysis due to the stroke was so severe that the mother now only has movement in her right arm. She also requires round-the-clock care.

Apparently, an earlier MRI and CAT scan demonstrated that she suffered from brain abnormalities. However, a physician who knew of the images failed to properly report the findings. This failure to properly report the mother’s medical condition resulted in the doctor delivering her baby having no information that brain abnormalities existed. Had information regarding her condition been available, the doctor delivering her child could have performed a caesarean section instead of having the woman go through a potentially dangerous labor.

While $35.4 million is a substantial sum, the likelihood of the need for a lifetime of therapy and care is great. Care for the mother apparently exceeds $200,000 on an annual basis. Also, the mother will miss out on the ability to participate in family life in the same manner she would if the stroke had never occurred. Finally, family members will not receive the care and support from her that she otherwise could have provided.

At Barry D. Lang, M.D., & Associates, we have on many occasions seen the devastation that occurs when warning signs of medical problems go unaddressed. Proving fault in such instances is often difficult, however. Even when juries return a verdict, medical providers often appeal such awards. It’s therefore important to know all of your options and have an attorney on your side who will continue fighting for you.

Source: Boston Globe, “7 years after stroke, paralyzed woman awarded $35m,” Travis Anderson, May 8, 2015