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7 Year Old Girl Awarded $26 Million by New York Jury for Injuries From Preterm Labor

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In November, a Brooklyn, New York jury awarded 7 year old Aleigha Buck and her mother $26 million to compensate for a hospital’s failure to appropriately stall preterm labor that resulted in deafness and vocal chord paralysis for Aleigha and caused the death of her twin sister, who passed away 28 days after birth.

Medical Resident Failed to Treat Preterm Labor 
On February 9, 2010, Aleigha’s mother, Danielle Madden-Buck, was 21 weeks pregnant with twin girls when she visited labor & delivery triage at Brooklyn’s Maimonides Hospital twice on the same day. She was seen by a medical resident both times and discharged without medication or other doctor’s orders, despite bleeding that indicated she was experiencing preterm labor.

Later that month, Ms. Madden-Buck delivered the twins at less than 25 weeks. Aleigha sustained multiple injuries as a result of the birth, including vocal chord paralysis and deafness, and her twin sister survived for 28 days before passing away due to complications associated with premature delivery. Ms. Madden-Buck’s legal team argued that the symptoms she experienced upon her initial visits to the hospital were indicative of pre-term labor due to cervical shortening. If doctors had been more diligent, she would have been evaluated for the condition and given medication to prevent labor, as well as put on bed rest. After a monthlong trial, the jury deliberated for 8 hours before awarding Aleigha Buck and her mother $26 million. Aleigha is now 7 years old and communicates through sign language.

Caution Can Save Both Mother and Baby
To deliver a healthy child is truly a miracle. Medically-speaking, however, it shouldn’t be. Obstetricians are trained to recognize abnormalities during pregnancy and even when the cause of an abnormality is unclear or seems harmless, a cautious and thorough physician should perform tests to assess the cause of any irregular symptoms of pregnancy and rule out any condition that could affect the mother and baby’s health.

In the case of Ms. Madden-Buck, measuring her cervix during her two emergency visits that day would have shown that she was experiencing cervical shortening, determined to be the cause of pre-term labor that resulted in Aleigha’s injuries and the death of her twin sister.

If you are a mother who delivered a child prematurely and suspect that appropriate medical interventions were not taken to prevent a delivery that resulted in injuries to you or your child, the Chicago birth injury attorneys of Levin and Perconti want to help you. If you are a mother who delivered your child at term and you believe medical negligence is to blame for injuries to you or your child, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Every mother deserves a competent physician in the delivery room and every child deserves a happy and healthy future.