The Florida Supreme Court permitted a family to resume their birth injury claim against the University of Miami (UM). According to the Florida Record, the parents of a child who is currently age 17 filed a lawsuit against UM, alleging that at the time of his delivery at Jackson North Maternity Center in Miami-Dade County, their son suffered a brain injury. The delivery was performed by two doctors who worked for the medical school affiliated with the university.
The Third District Court of Appeals held that the university could be held liable for the boy’s injuries, at which point the university filed an appeal with the Supreme Court. The university contended that it is protected by Florida’s Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA), which is a no-fault compensation program that pays back families who qualify for medical expenses.
NICA has a warning that families should not file a malpractice lawsuit against participating physicians and hospitals. However, doctors are required to advise patients that they take part in the program. Since the two doctors neglected to inform the family, they waived their defense from the lawsuit. Although the family did not file suit against the doctors directly, the court permitted the suit to proceed against the university, which could be held vicariously liable for the misconduct of its employees.
NICA offers payments from a fund created by statute to care for infants who suffer neurological impairment. However, it is marked by certain limitations, one of which is a maximum recovery of $100,000, without regard to the severity of the injuries or future medical expenses. Additionally, if the infant subsequently dies as a result of the incident, the award will be limited to $10,000.
If your child suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of a doctor or hospital, call the birth injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik Law Offices.