A jury based in Oakland County in the state of Michigan has responded aggressively to the plight of a boy who sustained severe brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy. The jurors listened to evidence over a three-week period, then determined that Beaumont Hospital was negligent in the care it provided to Vinh Tran and ordered the facility to pay the family $130 million in compensation. The award is one of the largest ever handed down in the state’s history. The hospital has indicated that it will appeal the verdict.
The incident that led to the boy’s cerebral palsy occurred in 2006, two months after his birth. When Yen Tran delivered Vinh he was premature but apparently healthy. Mother and child were discharged from the hospital in just two days, with instructions to return in two weeks for investigation of a urologic condition called hydronephrosis that had been diagnosed while he was in utero. When he was brought in he underwent an ultrasound that confirmed the mild swelling of his kidneys and was further diagnosed with lupus. The physical exam and ECG that was administered revealed no other issues, including no cardiac involvement. In March he returned to the hospital for a renal scan, which required that an IV line is inserted into the infant. The procedure proved challenging, and by all reports, it was after the line was inserted that the child’s condition “change dramatically.”
Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis Followed Lack of Oxygen
According to evidence submitted at trial, Vinh’s cerebral palsy followed complications from the procedure. A detailed report of what happened after the IV was inserted is an indication of things going terribly wrong. The boy’s mother tried to point out to the hospital staff that he was turning blue, but had a difficult time getting them to respond and call an emergency code. The staff also failed to check the child’s pulse or take necessary emergency actions such as chest compressions, though they did administer rescue breaths. The boy was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of his brain being deprived of oxygen and blood. He is now 12 years old and described as a “charming and beautiful boy”, but he has numerous medical needs.