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$23.9 million

Medical errors during birth lead to baby’s brain damage

Luvera Law Firm represented a Port Townsend family whose baby suffered a permanent brain injury when she slowly suffocated during labor and delivery at Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center. In December 2019, a jury decided a $23.9 million verdict in favor of the family against Jefferson County Public Hospital District, which operates the medical center and several other area clinics. 

The jury agreed with plaintiffs Anna Scott and Zachary Burke that doctors and nurses missed several critical signs their baby Lana was in distress during delivery with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, depriving her of oxygen. The baby, who was born blue and needed extensive resuscitation to begin breathing on her own, suffers permanent brain damage that will severely limit her mental and physical capabilities for the rest of her life. 

At trial, attorneys for Scott and Burke argued that medical providers used a fetal heart monitor during delivery, but failed to realize that it was picking up the mother’s heartbeat – not the baby’s – for most of the last three hours before birth, misleading them into thinking the baby was fine. 

“Lana was essentially strangled by her own umbilical cord and Jefferson Healthcare medical providers did nothing to intervene,” said Robert Gellatly. “The medical team’s actions – or inactions – deprived her of oxygen, leaving Lana profoundly brain injured.” 

Media coverage related to the case:

Jury awards Port Hadlock family nearly $24 million in damages (Peninsula Daily News)

Family awarded $24M from Washington hospital after infant was born with brain damage (Becker’s Hospital Review)

Jefferson Healthcare hit with $24M verdict; plans to appeal (The Leader)

Parents Receive Nearly $24 Million for Child’s Brain Damage (Legal Reader)

 

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A cardiac monitor in a hospital room

Fighting for accountability at Jefferson Healthcare

Luvera Law Firm represented a Port Townsend family whose baby suffered a permanent brain injury when she slowly suffocated during labor and delivery at Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center.

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"Lana is such a blessing in our lives, and has the most beautiful smile and heart – but she will need care for the rest of her life, and this verdict ensures she has a financial safety net to sustain her for decades to come. It’s equally important to Zach and me that other parents know about this critical safety issue, and for Jefferson Healthcare to be held accountable so that we can help prevent this from happening to another family."
Anna Scott
Medical malpractice client