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$10 Million Florida paramedic negligence verdict awarded to mother who gave birth in ambulance and whose son now has cerebral palsy

A jury has awarded a $10 million Florida birthing injury award to Margarita Chess in her cerebral palsy lawsuit against EVAC Ambulance service. Chess is the mother of Addison Chess, now 6. The boy developed cerebral palsy after his mother gave birth to him in an ambulance in 2003. According to court records, Chess, who was six months pregnant at the time, began experiencing pain and went into premature labor on September 21, 2003. She went to Bert Fish Medical Center. Two doctors, Dr. John Milton and Dr. Thomas Stavoy, arranged to have her transported to a hospital. She was supposed to go to Halifax Medical Center, but instead, the ambulance headed for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, which was located nearly 60 miles away. 15 minutes into the ambulance ride, Addison, weighing just 1.7 pounds, was born prematurely. He started having breathing problems, and paramedics performed CPR on him. Due to lack of oxygen and brain damage, Addison now has cerebral palsy. Chase’s Florida birthing malpractice lawsuit named Bert Fish Medical Center, Arnold Palmer Hospital, Halifax Medical Center, EVAC Ambulance, Stavoy, and Milton as defendants. Except for EVAC, all of the parties had settled with Chase over her son’s birthing injuries. Cerebral Palsy Commonly caused by birthing malpractice and/or challenging labors, this medical condition can leave a person disabled for life. Lack of muscle coordination, ataxia, tight or stiff muscles, spasticity, a dragging foot or leg, “scissored” or crouched gait, floppy or stiff muscle tone, and brain damage are some of the effects of living with Cerebral palsy. Examples of other birth injuries that can occur as a result of medical malpractice: • Erb’s Palsy • Meningitis • Cerebral Palsy • Brain damage • Brachial Plexus injury • Microcephaly • Mental retardation • Developmental delays • Forceps injuries • Vacuum extraction injuries • Head trauma Jury awards $10 million in ambulance birth, Orlando Sentinel, April 5, 2010 Jury awards $10 million in suit against EVAC, The Daytona Beach News Journal, April 5, 2010 Related Web Resources: NINDS Cerebral Palsy Information Page, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Cerebral Palsy, KidsHealth.org

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