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Liability in birth injury cases

If your child was born with some kind of preventable birth injury that was caused by a medical professional’s negligence, you may be looking to file a lawsuit for damages. But figuring out whom to sue or, more importantly, who will pay if you are successful, can be a rather difficult topic. In general, there are three different parities who could be held liable: the hospital, the doctor and the pharmaceutical company.

More often than not, the hospital itself will be held responsible in the event of a preventable birth injury. If the institution did not hire professionals qualified enough to handle a difficult birth and, therefore, you are injured, the institution itself would be liable under the doctrine of “corporate negligence.” This doctrine may also apply if the nursing staff was overloaded, causing mistreatment of a patient. If you have a private physician, and the hospital staff ignores their instruction — or follows it even though it would clearly cause harm — a medical malpractice suit may follow.

The doctor themselves may be held liable in some cases. Most of the time, this applies to professionals who are not technically employed full-time by the hospital, but rather work as contractors. But, if the institution does not properly vet the contractor’s credentials, they could still be held responsible for allowing that doctor access to patients.

Finally, pharmaceutical companies may be held liable if their drug causes a birth injury. This is most often the case if they did not give warning to your doctor about the side effects of the drug. As long as the dangers of the medicine have been made clear, liability will likely fall to the doctor or hospital.

This is a heavily truncated look at this form of liability, and therefore does not cover every detail. If your child was born with a preventable birth injury in Connecticut, it may be beneficial to speak with a medical malpractice law attorney to discuss your unique situation in detail. 

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