A Massachusetts jury found that the victim of a stroke during childbirth should be compensated with $35m in damages. The jury found that medical malpractice caused her doctors to miss the stroke and permanently paralyze the new mother.
Andrea Larkin was a 35 year old mother who had dizzy spells after running the Boston Marathon. She went into her doctor with these problems. Her doctor ran an MRI and a CT, as required by the standard of care. When these test came back alerting the doctor to a potential problem, the doctor fell below the standard of care. As a direct result of her doctor not taking the appropriate steps, when Mrs. Larkin became pregnant, the OBGYN did not know to order an emergency c-section. The failure to perform an emergency c-section caused a stroke during childbirth, which left Mrs. Larkin permanently paralyzed except for the use of one arm. She requires 24 hour care by licensed professionals. A childbirth stroke is a tragic situation that left this mother paralyzed.
There are multiple ways a stroke may occur. Strokes can be hemorrhagic or ischemic. Hemorrhagic means that the stroke is caused by a bleed in one of the blood vessels that prevents blood from flowing to the brain. Ischemic strokes are caused by a blockage of the arteries or vessels taking blood to the brain. This blockage can come in the form of atherosclerotic plaque buildup or from other “embolic” sources. They can generate within the heart or they can be tumors or other masses that block the arteries.
If you present with signs or symptoms of stroke, it’s incumbent on your medical professional to diagnose and treat you appropriately under the medical standards of care. If they do not or if they miss the diagnosis, then they can cause permanent and life long damage to you and your family. Our firm recently tried and won a $21.5 million stroke case, where the Veterans Affairs negligence caused our client, Michael Farley, to have permanent paralysis of his entire body, known as locked in syndrome.