Armed Services personnel have to go through a lot of hoops to sue the government when something goes wrong. But for one family who was stationed in Guam, everything went right. The Virginia-Pilot has the story
Five years ago, a sailor gave birth to a baby boy who had severe and permanent brain damage. Now the family will receive $11.5 million dollars for the accident.
At the time the water broke, the baby’s heart rate was normal, but it was discovered that fetal stool was present in the water. Twenty hours later, the baby was born “floppy and nonvigorous”, a sign that there was a problem with getting enough oxygen.
The doctor tried to resuscitate the child, but the preferred tool had fallen behind the bed. Rather than get the proper tool, he used a bulb to try to suck out the problem. It took 11 minutes for the doctors to clear the blockage.
A later MRI showed profound brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen. The lawsuit claims that had the baby been properly taken care of, none of the neurological damage would have happened.
The parents will each receive $1 million, the lawyers around 20% of the total, and the rest will go into a trust fund that will be structured so that the child will not run out of money for the remainder of his life.