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Recent Maryland Birth Injury Verdict Highlights Statute of Limitations

| Category: Birth Injuries | September 30, 2022

A $13.3 million verdict in Harford County should give hope to parents and children wondering if it’s too late to pursue a claim related to a birth injury. If you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced birth injury as soon as possible to discuss whether you or your child may be entitled to compensation. 

A Birth Injury from 2004

The case in question arose from a delivery in July of 2004. The mother was in labor for 17 hours, during which time the baby showed signs of fetal distress. The baby was eventually delivered via c-section, but only after the baby had suffered a brain bleed that would eventually leave him with a permanent brain injury and intellectual disabilities. 

In her medical malpractice lawsuit, the mother alleged that the brain bleed could have been avoided had the doctor performed a c-section sooner than he had. Her claim alleged that the doctor had breached the standard of care by allowing labor to go on for too long. 

After a two-week trial that ended on July 27th, the jury found that the doctor was negligent and failed to obtain the mother’s informed consent during labor. The jury also found the nurses breached the standard of care for failing to properly administer Pitocin (a drug given to induce contractions) and for failing to recognize the symptoms of fetal distress. Ultimately, they awarded $10.5 million for future medical care, $2 million for pain and suffering, and $800,000 for lost earning capacity. 

Maryland’s Statute of Limitations in Birth Injury Cases

In Maryland, medical malpractice claims must be pursued prior to the expiration of one of the following deadlines, whichever is shorter: 

  • Within five years of the date the injury occurred; or
  • Within three years of discovery of the injury. 

However, Maryland also has a separate filing deadline for minors who are injured as a result of medical malpractice, such as infants who have suffered a birth injury. In those cases, the minor has up to three years after the date of their 18th birthday in order to pursue a claim. 

The statute of limitations in birth injury cases raises some significant considerations. For example, parents may pursue a claim for different losses than the child. While your child may be able to pursue a claim, it may be too late for the parent. As a result, do not assume that you or your child have plenty of time to pursue a claim – if you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury, your best course of action is to contact a birth injury lawyer at your first opportunity. 

Contact Birth Injury Attorney Thomas E. Pyles Today

At the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, we’ve been helping families recover fair compensation in birth injury cases for over 30 years. We have offices conveniently located in Waldorf, Leonardtown, and Laurel but are also able to meet with you via phone or video conferencing. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 301-705-5006.