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$7M Boston Medical Malpractice Verdict Awarded in Newborn’s Massachusetts Wrongful Death

A jury has awarded the South Hamilton family of Katherine Bellerose $7 million in Boston wrongful death damages. Bellerose, a newborn twin, passed away 8 days after being born two months premature at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her parents, John and Danielle, claimed she died because of inadequate staffing and the negligent medicare care she received while the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Katherine and her sister Alexis were born on June 13, 2004. She soon developed necrotizing enterocolitis, which is a bowel condition that kills internal tissue.

Her family’s Boston medical malpractice lawyer contends that seeing as babies that are born premature are at greater risk for developing the bowel condition, the staff at the hospital should have been monitoring Katherine more closely for possible signs. Instead, it wasn’t until they went to visit their girls on June 20 and noticed that she was unresponsive and discolored and the monitors showed that there were problems with her oxygen levels and heart that anything was done. Even then, they say it took an hour for anyone to act on their concerns and over four hours before surgeons were contacted. Katherine died the following morning.

The jury awarded each of Katherine’s parents $3.5 million each and $50,000 was allotted for the suffering she went through prior to her death. A nurse and four doctors found not responsible for Katherine’s Massachusetts wrongful death.

Premature Birth Risks

Premature births can come with significant risks, which is why it is so important that preemies are properly monitored after delivery. Complications that can occur when a baby is born too soon:

• Respiratory distress • Developmental disabilities • Cerebral palsy • Increased risk of diabetes • Increased risk of heart disease • Brain bleed • Brain injury
Medical errors that occur before, during, and after delivery can cause serious injury or health complications to any baby, which is why all necessary precautions must be taken to prevent these. When medical mistakes or failure to provide adequate care causes injuries, the baby’s family may be able to pursue Boston medical malpractice compensation.

Jury finds Beth Israel at fault in baby death, Boston Herald, September 1, 2011
Parents awarded $7 million in death of newborn, Boston.com, August 31, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Care for Premature Babies, American Pregnancy.org
Premature Birth Complications, Mayo Clinic

More Blog Posts:
$7M Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Settlement Awarded to Parents Whose Child Was Born with a Genetic Defect, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, May 6, 2011
Ex-Children’s Hospital Boston Pediatrician Sued for Boston Medical Malpractice and the Sex Abuse of Child Patients, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 17, 2011
Boston Medical Malpractice?: Three Wrong-Site Surgeries Performed at Beth Israel, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 11, 2011
An experienced Boston injury lawyer can help you explore your legal options.