Attorneys at Pritzker Hageman were named Minnesota “Attorney of the Year” in 2014 for winning a $10-million settlement for newborns sickened in an outbreak. Our lawyers have won multiple multi-million-dollar settlements for children.
Birth injury lawsuits can involve defective products or medical errors (Minnesota medical malpractice claims).
Our law firm is one of the few in the nation that routinely handles complex cases involving defective products and infections. We have helped a number of families with cases involving listeriosis, a severe infection caused by food contaminated with bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. When a pregnant mother ingests tainted food, she can lose the baby, and if the baby survives, he or she is often born prematurely. Our job is to find out how the food got contaminated and why it was sold to the public, and then to hold all responsible companies accountable.
Eric Hageman leads our team of medical malpractice (mistake made by doctor, nurse or other hospital staff) lawyers.
Compensation for Birth Injury
If a defective or dangerous product is involved, you will have to prove that the product caused or contributed to the damage done to your baby. These are “strict liability” cases, meaning you do not have to prove that the company that made the product (or used the product) knew that the item was bad or that there was any negligence (unreasonable behavior).
To receive compensation in a Minnesota malpractice lawsuit, you have to prove:
- Your Minnesota health providers acted unreasonably and
- Your Minnesota health providers’ conduct was a direct cause of injury.
Unless both issues are proved, there is no case.
Medical Errors that Support a Lawsuit
Here are some medical errors that may support a malpractice action:
- Failing to anticipate complications with a larger baby, or a high-risk condition in the mother.
- Failing to rapidly diagnose and treat preterm labor.
- Failing to respond appropriately to bleeding.
- Failing to respond to umbilical cord entrapment.
- Failing to treat a fetus that develops distress during delivery.
- Delaying the order for caesarian section (c-section).
- Misuse of forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery.
- Inappropriate administration of drugs used to induce labor.
You should also be aware of some special laws that apply:
- Minnesota Statute of limitations: This is a law that requires commencement of a birth injury malpractice case within a specific time period. If the case is not filed within that time period, it will be barred regardless of its merit. Because the time period is very short and exceptions apply, it is very important to consult with experienced attorneys as soon as possible.
- Expert affidavit: In Minnesota, before commencement of a malpractice case, the party bringing the claim must provide a written document signed by a medical malpractice expert confirming that medical malpractice was committed and that it was a direct cause of the claimant’s injuries. The format and timing of the affidavit are critical.
List of Injuries
- Infection. This can include listeriosis, meningitis, pneumonia and other infections that can be traced to a product or event at the hospital.
- Brachial Plexus (Erb’s Palsy). Brachial plexus injuries happen when the network of nerves that connects the spine, shoulders and hands is damaged. If the symptoms include bruising or swelling, the situation may correct itself in several months. If there is major nerve damage, corrective surgery may be required and permanent damage often occurs.
- Brain Injuries. Brain injuries occur when the baby does not get enough oxygen. Oxygen deprivation can happen if the baby loses a lot of blood, or the umbilical cord gets twisted or compressed. Prolonged oxygen deprivation can cause brain damage and a number of neurological disorders.
- Bruising Caused by Forceps. Some bruises caused by forceps require surgical treatment.
- Caput Succedaneum. Caput succedaneum refers to swelling of the baby’s scalp. This may happen if the delivery involved vacuum extraction. The head usually returns to normal size in several days.
- Cephalohematoma. Cephalohematoma is bleeding between a bone and its fibrous covering. Most of the time, this is found on the baby’s head and the healing process takes anywhere from several weeks to several months.
- Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral palsy has a number of causes, including insufficient oxygen during delivery caused by prolonged labor, abrupt labor, or interference with the umbilical cord.
- Epilepsy. Deprivation of oxygen during a delivery can cause epilepsy.
- Facial Paralysis. Facial paralysis is a possibility if nerves are damaged from the pressure of the birth canal. Sometimes the use of forceps can cause facial paralysis. Often, these injuries heal in 2-3 weeks. If the nerve damage is severe, surgery may be required and permanent damage may occur.
- Fractures. Fractures in a baby’s collarbone can happen. Once immobilized, these fractures usually heal quickly.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage. Subconjunctival hemorrhage, which looks like a bright red band around the iris of one or both of the baby’s eyes, can disappear completely in seven to ten days.
Birth injury malpractice claims are difficult, time consuming, and expensive. That’s why selecting the right lawyer is so important. Our law firm has the experience and resources to take on important and challenging cases and obtain significant compensation for the little one and his or her mother.
If you would like a free consultation, call 612-338-0202 or click here now for a free case review.