Malpractice by a hospital or as a result of mistakes made by medical professionals
can have long-term effects on the victim who must suffer the consequences
of injury. Malpractice can become more traumatic when it occurs to someone
vulnerable such as an infant. An infant victim of medical malpractice
could face a life of serious disability and a significantly declined quality
of life. In the past, compensating for medical malpractice that occurs
during labor and delivery has been highly controversial. Maryland is looking
to remediate some of the trauma by removing litigation as a form of remed,
and putting in place a
No-Fault Birth Injury Fund.
When Will the Fund Go into Effect?
No-Fault Birth Injury fund, as established in Senate Bill 877, looks to institute a system by which
claims that arise from birth-related neurological injuries may be adjudicated
and compensated without protracted litigation. If passed, the bill would
take effect on July 1, 2017, but will only be applied prospectively and
not to apply to any cause of action that arises before January 1, 2019.
Who and What Type of Injuries Does the Fund Cover?
According to the bill, the fund would cover any neurological injury resulting from birth, which
could mean any live baby who is born with an injury to the brain or its
spinal cord, and as a result, there is oxygen deprivation or other injury
that occurred during labor, delivery, and after delivery during the period
of resuscitation. Additionally, the injury must render the baby physically
and neurologically impaired. To be able to receive the benefits of the
funds, the injury can not be caused by genetic or congenital abnormality
The Pros of the No-Fault Fund
Not only does the bill look to relieve the stress of the victim’s
parents by ensuring that the neurological injury is addressed and there
is funding to treat the victim throughout his or her life, but it also
limits medical liability, risks, and associated costs that may weigh heavily
on the Maryland hospital systems and obstetric services. This is to preserve
the obstetric practices and alleviate the court system from having to
adjudicate claims relating to birth-related neurological injury.
Additionally, not only are birth-related neurological injuries the most
costly and traumatic types of medical injuries, but sometimes these birth-related
neurological injuries are unavoidable even with the best medical care
provided and without malpractice.
Accordingly, with the passage of the bill, any baby born with a neurological
injury would be able to receive compensation that is fair and equitable
for any claims brought against a hospital or obstetric services staff.
The Cons of the No-Fault Fund
many opponents to this bill, however, and it has been submitted to the Maryland legislature
on multiple occasions. Though the no-fault fund would provide grieving
families better alternatives to support their child than through costly
negligence and malpractice lawsuits, there is a fear about relieving medical
staff and hospitals of medical liability resulting from malpractice and/or
negligence. If a hospital repeatedly receives a way out of a malpractice
suit through a payout from the fund, then there is no real liability assessed
against the hospital and its staff. Additionally it limits the victim’s
constitutional right to a trial by jury, which may pay out more money
as a result of the claims.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
If your child was injured as a result of negligence or malpractice during
labor, delivery, and post-delivery, it is important to consult with an
experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your claims on behalf
of your injured child. Please call the
Law Office of Robert R. Castro at (301) 804-2312 for a confidential consultation.