Family awarded $24M from Washington hospital after infant was born with brain damage

A jury has awarded $23.9 million to a family who claimed Port Townsend, Wash.-based Jefferson Healthcare's negligence caused their daughter's brain damage, the Peninsula Daily News reports. The hospital intends to appeal the verdict.

Lana, daughter of Anna Scott and Zachery Burke, had her umbilical cord twisted around her neck before she was born Jan. 25, 2014. Providers didn't realize the fetal heart monitor used during delivery was picking up Ms. Scott's heartbeat instead of the baby's for nearly three hours, according to the tort claim filed by Seattle-based Luvera Law Firm on behalf of Lana's parents. 

The infant was blue when she was born and had to be resuscitated, Robert Gellatly, an attorney at Luvera Law Firm, said. Lana suffered brain cell death and brain damage, which could have been avoided if she had been delivered earlier by Cesarean section, Mr. Gellatly claimed.

Shortly after birth, Lana was diagnosed with severe brain injury, according to a Luvera Law Firm news release. She is expected to have permanent cognitive impairment, speech deficits and impaired motor skills. 

On Dec. 20, a jury found that Jefferson Healthcare was negligent and caused Lana's injuries. 

Jefferson Healthcare strongly disagrees with the verdict and plans to file an appeal, Mike Glenn, the hospital's CEO, said in a statement cited by the Peninsula Daily News.

"We hold our labor and delivery staff and care to the highest possible standards, and we remain confident in their capabilities, and in the procedures and processes that were followed during this particular delivery," Mr. Glenn said.

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