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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Medical Malpractice > Family Receives $40 Million After Misdiagnosis Leads To Infant’s Spinal Cord Injury

Family Receives $40 Million After Misdiagnosis Leads To Infant’s Spinal Cord Injury


Newborns, even those born at term after an uneventful pregnancy, are so tiny and fragile that the first days of a child’s life are often terrifying for the child’s parents.  Advances in neonatology have made it possible for doctors to detect early warning signs of many common childhood illnesses and take appropriate actions before things get worse.  You may know some children whom doctors decided to keep in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a few days or a few weeks out of an abundance of caution, and the children have been healthy ever since.  Those tiny blood pressure cuffs and tiny oxygen monitors can detect a great many things, but what happens if doctors miss obvious signs of trouble?  If your child suffered a serious and preventable medical complication shortly after birth, contact a Columbia medical malpractice lawyer.

What Is Neuroblastoma, and How Is It Diagnosed?

Last year, a family in South Carolina received a settlement in a medical malpractice case because their child suffered permanent health problems due to a delayed diagnosis of neuroblastoma.  Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that occurs almost exclusively in children under the age of five and sometimes even begins to develop before birth.  It has a long-term survival rate of 67 percent.  Like other types of cancer, the prognosis is better the earlier the cancer is detected.

Neuroblastoma can occur almost anywhere in the body.  Although studies have investigated many possible risk factors, from family history to exposure to certain chemicals, none of the studies have been conclusive, and the cause remains unknown.  Therefore, testing for it begins because routine testing or clinical examination shows evidence of a tumor or because the patient shows symptoms such as difficulty moving affected parts of the body.

Family Receives Settlement After Child Suffers Preventable Paralysis

In this case, a baby developed breathing problems one day after birth.  Doctors performed an X-ray and diagnosed him with pneumonia.  In reading the X-ray, though, they failed to notice a tumor in his chest.  The child’s breathing problems resolved, and he went home from the hospital several days after birth.  The tumor, which was caused by neuroblastoma, continued to grow and was not diagnosed until the child was four months old.  By this time, it had pressed on his spinal cord, so that he is paralyzed from the chest down.  The family sued the doctors and the hospital for medical malpractice.  In September 2022, the parties agreed to a settlement of $40.4 million, equivalent to the medical treatment that the boy will need throughout his life, as well as noneconomic damages.  It is the largest medical malpractice settlement in South Carolina history.

Let Us Help You Today

The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you file a medical malpractice claim if your child suffers from a chronic health problem because of a misdiagnosis early in life.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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