Family Awarded $58 Million In Record-Breaking Pregnancy Malpractice Suit

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May 26, 2011

In what is being called the largest medical malpractice verdict in state history, two Connecticut parents have been awarded $58 million on behalf of their eight-year-old son, reports ABC 7's Eyewitness News.

Attorneys for the family say that Daniel D'Attilo now has cerebral palsy because of brain damage resulting from a delayed delivery by their obstetrician. "It's an overwhelming victory for the parents," one of the family's lawyers, Kathleen Nastri, told the Associated Press. "He is profoundly, profoundly disabled and the parents have gone through hell."

The case was filed in 2005, after Daniel's birth on February 2, 2003, reports the Connecticut Post. According to attorneys, Cathy D'Atillo's amniotic fluid dropped by half on January 31, but her physician waited days to perform a Caesarean section -- they also say that even once the surgery did happen, it was done improperly.

According to the NIH, "Cerebral palsy is caused by injuries or abnormalities of the brain" that typically occur in the womb. While symptoms can range from mild to very severe, in Daniel's case he is unable to speak, eat or walk, and suffers from seizures.

Of the record dollar amount granted by the jury, $8 million is expected to cover medical expenses, while the remainder was designated for pain and suffering.

"The dollar amount means he will be taken care of, that's what this means to us," Daniel's mother Cathy ABC 7's Eyewitness News, who also reports that her son will need full-time care.

But the doctor's attorney, James Rosenblum said to the Associated Press that the jury's decision was made more out of sympathy than hard evidence -- he promised that his client would appeal the case. "His treatment was impeccable. It's a shocking verdict," he said.

Other physicians worry the jury's decision could keep doctors from taking on high-risk cases like this one in the future -- check out that perspective and the family's story in the ABC 7 Eyewitness report.