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New Jersey jury hands down $20 million for fetal brain injury

Maria Tapia was pregnant with twins in 2011. During her 33rd week, she went for an ultrasound. A technician working for maternal fetal medicine specialist Gary Frisoli discovered one of the babies, a girl, had developed intrauterine growth retardation. The condition caused the baby to lose weight because she was not receiving enough nutrition.

The report sat on Frisoli’s desk

After the technician discovered the baby’s condition, Frisoli did not send the report to Tapia’s obstetrician for four days. During that time, the girl, who would be named Kylie, stopped breathing and suffered brain damage.

Kylie suffered severe brain damage

Kylie is now 11. She cannot speak and uses a wheelchair because of the brain damage she suffered.

Her parents, Maria and Octavio Tapia, filed a medical malpractice case against Frisoli and the obstetrician. Their suit alleged the technician should have immediately sent the test results to the obstetrician, and that in not doing so, he violated the standard of care.

Maria’s obstetrician settled with the family before the trial. However, Frisoli claimed he did provide the standard of care and suggested the obstetrician was negligent.

The jury found Frisoli responsible

The Union County jury agreed with the Tapia family and returned a $20 million settlement against Frisoli. The settlement was for the future care of Kylie, her disability and its effect on her life and to her parents. The jury also found the obstetrician was 70 percent at fault, and Frisoli was 30 percent at fault. That means Frisoli will only have to 30 percent or $6 million of the settlement.

He has filed for a new trial.

Medical malpractice violates the standard of care

In a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff must prove a medical professional violated the standard of care. The standard of care is the generally accepted care a medical professional would provide for the treatment of an illness or condition. When a health care professional does not provide the standard of care, they have acted negligently.

Parents whose children have suffered due to negligence of medical professionals have legal recourse. Birth injuries are often serious and may require lifelong care. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your options and help you pursue compensation for your child’s injuries.

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