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Government to pay half of medical malpractice settlement

Pregnant women in Tennessee, no matter what stage of pregnancy they may be in at the time, have the right to reasonably expect appropriate, safe medical attention when concerning issues arise involving their own health or the health of their babies. For one woman in another state, that's not exactly what happened. She sought medical attention for decreased fetal movement, yet she did not see the attending physician for more than three hours after reporting to the hospital. A medical malpractice lawsuit later ensued.

When the doctor finally did meet with the worried mother, he determined the need for an emergency C-section. The woman's baby was born with several injuries, the gravest of which was the most serious form of cerebral palsy, likely due to oxygen deprivation to the infant's brain. Temple University hospital settled a medical malpractice claim for $8 million.

Following the settlement, however, the hospital then filed its own lawsuit against the U.S. government. The claim stated that since the doctor in question was actually a federal employee, the government should be held liable for half the settlement amount. A federal judge agreed and ordered the government to pay $4 million toward the full settlement amount.

Medical malpractice claims are often quite complicated. More than one defendant may be involved, and damages often include more than just medical expenses or other costs associated with a particular incident. To ensure the best possible outcome, many Tennessee residents enlist the help of highly experienced personal injury attorneys to act on their behalves in court.

Source: philly.com, "U.S. ordered to pay half of Temple hospital's $8 million birth injury settlement", Marie Mccullough, April 17, 2017

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