A federal judge granted a $33.8 million malpractice judgment after a Miami-based obstetrician’s gross negligence resulted in a baby’s permanent brain damage.
According to The Miami Herald, Ata Atogho failed to perform a Cesarean section, instructed nurses to re-administer a drug intended to strengthen contractions, and left the young mom’s room for long periods—at one point to take an eight-minute call from his stockbroker.
Marla Dixon’s pregnancy wasn’t considered high risk by any means, and lawyers successfully argued that the Atogho’s actions—or lack thereof—led to the baby’s brain being deprived of blood and oxygen.
— Joe (@joe_1Obi) May 1, 2017
“At the anticipated, joyful moment of birth of a crying, bouncing baby, they are instead presented with the dreadful specter of a blue, floppy, lifeless child,” Judge Robert Scola wrote in his April 17 order.
Specifically, Judge Scola awarded the baby’s parents, Dixon and Earl Reese-Thorton, $3.3 million in addition to $1.1 million for pain and suffering, $21.7 in economic damages, and $7.6 million for the boy’s pain and suffering, according to Legal Info.
The defense and plaintiffs agreed that the infant, named Earl Jr., wouldn’t have experienced serious brain damage if Atogho had carried out a C-section. But not only did the doctor blame Dixon for not pushing hard enough but a nurse testified that he falsified the 19-year-old’s medical record to make it appear that she had refused a C-section, The Herald reported.
The nurse, who was present throughout the entire birth, claimed that Dixon begged, “Cut me. I want to be cut. I can’t do this anymore.”
“Not one time did he apologize,” Dixon said told the paper.
“He didn’t care. He kept going on with his lies. He blamed me.”
“These and so much are the simple joys that neither the parents nor the child in this case will ever know.”