The negligence of the staff at L.A. County-USC Medical Center as resulted in a $7.5 million settlement being paid to the one-time homeless mother whose child suffered brain damage as a result of the staff’s actions.
Dyrene Loftis decided to file the medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her year old son, Micah Welch. According to the legal paperwork, when Micah was born, Loftis experienced a ruptured uterus which was caused by the staff’s negligence and resulted in Micah being oxygen deprived during the delivery. The oxygen deprivation resulted in brain damage.
When she went into labor, Loftis was only 39 weeks into her pregnancy. At the time she and her two children were residents of the Union Rescue Mission. When her labor started, the Mission’s staff called an ambulance and she was transferred to the L.A. County-USC Medical Center. At the time she was complaining of severe abdominal pains.
Loftis was in labor for about 14 hours before the hospital discharged her and she returned to the shelter. During her time at the hospital, Loftis wasn’t examined by an obstetrician. Twelve hours after she’d been discharged, Loftis was once again rushed to the hospital. Upon examination, it was discovered that her uterus had ruptured. An emergency c-section was used to deliver her child.
The lack of oxygen during the delivery resulted in permanent brain damage. Micah will never be able to live a normal life. Simple tasks such as eating and breathing require assistance. Loftis is unable to care for him on her own so he is now a resident at a long term care facility. The staff report that Loftis visits often.
A large portion of the settlement will be put toward financing the medical care Micah will require for the rest of his life. Loftis also plans to use a portion of the settlement to purchase a house so she can move Micah in with her.
Micah is her number one priority. “That’s the most important thing to me right now, just getting him home,” Loftis said in a recent interview following the settlement announcement. The settlement, she said, “will help me take care of my baby, but I’m really not happy with the whole situation.”
“I truly can’t imagine everything this poor woman went through during the delivery. The fear and pain she must have felt must have been nothing compared to learning that her beloved son will never be able to live the life she imagined for him. I’m very glad that she kept her wits about her, contacted a good legal team, and kept perusing the matte until she got the settlement needed to care for her child.”
Don’t let a lack of resources stop you from pursuing a criminal case after you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice. Most personal injury lawyer will defer payment until you’ve settled the case at which point they take their fee out of the settlement. If you don’t win the settlement, most lawyer won’t send you a bill.
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