Losing a newborn baby after feeling the joy of childbirth can be particularly devastating. A parent's emotions have been pulled in two different directions over a short period, making it even harder to cope with the death of a child. One Pennsylvania mother understands this emotional turmoil all too well after her 32-day-old daughter died because of whooping cough.
What makes this case especially disturbing is that some staff members of the health care facility, Lancaster Pediatric Associates, failed to diagnose the infant's condition, according to a news report. The mother took the case to trial and recently walked away with compensatory damages totaling $4 million.
According to the 2016 civil complaint, the baby died from complications of the respiratory condition known as whooping cough, or pertussis. Reportedly, the mother took her baby to the medical practice named in the complaint several times, describing her own symptoms of whooping cough and requesting that her infant undergo testing for the illness. On two of these visits, the baby did exhibit symptoms of pertussis, but the condition went untested and undiagnosed in time to save the infant's life.
The medical malpractice complaint named the Lancaster Pediatric Associates facility as well as two of its physicians. A third defendant, a nurse practitioner, was also named in the lawsuit, but reportedly reached "an undisclosed settlement" before the trial began.
The infant girl was too young to receive the pertussis vaccination, according to reports. Unfortunately, the medical providers associated with the lawsuit failed this entire family by not testing the baby for pertussis at the mother's request. Cases like this are why the law makes it possible for people to file medical malpractice lawsuits. Seeking advice from an injury lawyer is a way for possible victims to learn if they have grounds for such a claim.
Source: Lancaster Online, "Lancaster County mother awarded $4M in malpractice suit on infant daughter's death," Heather Stauffer, May 17, 2018