Maine Jury Awards $8 Million for Hospital, Midwife Malpractice

October 29, 2007

A jury in Auburn, Maine last week awarded nearly $8 million to a brain-damaged 5-year-old boy and his mother in their medical malpractice lawsuit against a Lewiston hospital and one of its midwives.

The verdict in favor of Sasha Emond of Lewiston and her son, Odysseus, was described as the largest malpractice award ever handed down in Androscoggin County Superior Court. It came after two days of jury deliberations at the close of a nearly two-week trial.

Emond, who was 16 at the time Odysseus was born in April 2002, claimed that her midwife and Central Maine Medical Center should have recommended an emergency cesarean section when her baby appeared to be in fetal distress.

The baby was born with cerebral palsy due to lack of blood and oxygen to his brain.

“He will never be able to function in any activity of daily living without round-the-clock care, and what this jury gave him today is the ability to get that care,” said Odysseus’ lawyer, Julian Sweet.

A lawyer for the hospital expressed disappointment at the $7.96 million verdict, saying that a pretrial screening panel found that the hospital and its staff had complied with all guidelines.

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