Birth Injury Lawsuit Pits Insurer Against Clinic Blamed for Boy’s Brain Damage
A war is brewing between a medical clinic and their insurer after the insurer claims that the clinic derailed efforts at an appeal. The lawsuit awarded an Iowan family over $90 million after a child was born with severe brain damage. The clinic was blamed for failing to accurately read the signs of fetal distress. The child went without oxygen to his brain for an extended period of time resulting in severe brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. The award was later reduced to $75.6 million, which is still a huge price tag.
Birth injury lawsuits are among the highest settlement awards and jury verdicts you will find in the realm of personal injury lawsuits. This is because children who are injured need a lifetime of 24-hour care provided at the parents’ expense. When a medical clinic is held liable for failing to prevent severe brain damage, the medical clinic is forced to foot the bill for the child’s care. In this case, the child was born without the ability to walk and is mostly unable to speak. He will never lead a normal life and will require round-the-clock care for the remainder of his life. Hence, why the jury verdict in birth injury cases is so high.
Insurer offers settlement
The clinic’s insurer offered a settlement of $12 million contingent on the success of an appeal. In other words, they agreed to pay the policy limit of $12 million to the plaintiffs on the contingency that if the appeal was successful, the clinic would have to repay the figure back to the insurer. That offer was rejected by the plaintiffs and at some point, the insurer offered to pay the sum of $12 million regardless of whether or not the appeal was successful. That offer was also rejected. The clinic then hired an attorney to take over on its behalf to hold the insurer liable for its handling of the medical malpractice case. The attorney threatened to sue the insurer for a gargantuan $1 billion. The insurer has since filed a lawsuit against the clinic alleging that they are attempting to undermine the insurer’s efforts to file an appeal over the verdict. The clinic claims that it has a valid bad faith case against the insurer.
The clinic is now in the awkward position of bolstering the case the plaintiffs made against itself and hoping to hold the insurance company liable for both the $75 million and potentially more in a bad faith claim.
This is an unusual situation, but bad faith claims against insurance companies do occasionally result in massive verdicts for plaintiffs. However, while the matter is being hashed out, the plaintiffs may not be getting any money from the original verdict which went their way.
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