A jury in Iowa has awarded a $97.4 million verdict after a baby’s head was crushed during an “egregious” child birth, according to the family’s legal team.
Parents Andrew and Kathleen Kromphardt filed the medical malpractice lawsuit against two medical facilities involved in the delivery of their baby, Scotty,/ in 2018, The Gazette reported.
“The acts of malpractice committed by OBGYN Associates of Iowa City and Mercy Hospital were egregious,” attorney Geoffrey Fieger said in a news release. “As a result of their malpractice by improperly delivering a baby with forceps and a vacuum, and crushing his head, producing permanent brain damage. They not only destroyed the life of the little baby, Scotty, but his entire family who must care for him for the rest of his life.”
This birth trauma verdict comes after a 14-day court trial and a 90-minute jury deliberation, according to The Gazette.
“Mercy Iowa City is disappointed in the verdict. While we respect the legal process, we disagree with the jury’s conclusion and will consider all available options,” the medical center said in a statement to McClatchy News. “Our primary focus remains on providing high quality care to our patients and families.”
In a similar statement, a spokesperson with OB/GYN Associates of Iowa City said that “while we have great respect for the legal process, we are disappointed in the jury’s finding. We are reviewing our legal options moving forward.”
The Kromphardt couple and their legal team believe their doctor had time to switch from a vaginal birth to a cesarean section, but because the doctor chose not to, their baby’s skull was fractured, according to KCRG.
The $97.4 million verdict, expected to be divided evenly between the two medical facilities, is expected to cover medical care, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering, the TV station reported.
A legal expert says the family may not see the full verdict amount, adding that the defense can file an appeal, according to The Gazette. The judge can also lower the award if he doesn’t believe evidence supports the dollar amount.
“We are proud to fight for the rights of this family and help get them the compensation they deserve,” Fieger Law said.