U.S. Government Pays $6.5M for Causing Severe Brain Damage in Baby

An infant’s brain injury has resulted in a $6.5 million settlement with the federal government in Michigan. Haiden Rivera, now 5, was born at a military hospital in September 2008, and developed severe brain damage.

The lawsuit alleges that Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Darnell Medical Center caused Haiden’s brain damage while they were delivering him, and now doctors believe that he will develop cerebral palsy, according to the Killeen Daily Herald.

Not long after Haiden was born, he was airlifted to a hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Thanks to the extensive research on cerebral palsy, Haiden’s mother, Kassie, was able to determine that her son’s cerebral palsy was due to trauma induced via the birth, and not an actual birth defect.

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture that is caused by an insult to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth. It can also be caused by a lack of oxygen to the infant’s brain during delivery, which is the case with Haiden Rivera.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a study that found that 1 in 20 cases of children with cerebral palsy developed the disease because of an interruption to the infant’s source of oxygen.

The lawsuit alleges that the doctors ignored the dangers to Haiden’s brain by his mother’s over-stimulated contractions; contractions which were induced by the administration of oxytocin, a natural hormone that causes the uterus to contract, and is used to induce labor or strengthen labor contractions during childbirth.

Although common sense would say that no hormones of this type should be administered during childbirth, this isn’t the first time that the hormone oxytocin was used during delivery. A family in Iowa earned a $3.75 million settlement as the result of the state’s negligent use of the drug.

Although the government agreed to the $6.5 million settlement, this does not necessarily mean that the state is admitting their guilt. However, anybody reading about the administration of the drug, the resulting damage it caused, and the settlement amount, can read between the lines and make their own opinion.

It is important to know that, regardless of how much worse Haiden’s injuries get, the Rivera family can no longer bring any legal action against the state of Michigan, as this settlement closes all remaining doors in regards to any further legal action.

What do you think of this travesty? A newborn baby’s life is forever changed because of the negligence of a doctor on a military base. Do you think this settlement amount is enough?

Feel free to comment on this blog post. For more information, contact a Gacovino Lake attorney at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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