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Mother agues for higher cap on noneconomic damages in stillbirth case

A judge for the Lenawee Circuit Court held a hearing last month on the issue of what the cap should be for birth injuries in a medical malpractice case involving a botched delivery that resulted in the stillbirth of a baby at ProMedica Bixby Hospital in 2008. According to the claim brought by the baby’s mother, the death was the result of the negligence of a nurse and a physician on staff at the hospital. The child was reportedly delivered well after it should have been due to the oversight of the providers.

Under Michigan law, non-economic damages are capped at $280,000 in most cases. It is possible for a higher cap of $500,000 to be applied in certain cases involving serious injuries, including severe brain injury. These amounts are adjusted yearly for inflation. Given the circumstances of this case, the lower limit is $440,300 and the cap is $774,000. 

The woman’s attorney argues that the higher cap should apply in this case as it normally would in cases where a baby survives with severe brain injuries. Among the damages the Mother is arguing for are lost future wages, pain and suffering, and mental and emotional distress for the mother.

This case is certainly a sad one, and anybody facing the circumstances this mother faces deserves to be compensated in full for their losses and suffering. In medical malpractice, noneconomic damages are not always easy to maximize, but building a strong case with the help of a skilled attorney can help ensure that the outcome is the best one possible. 

Source:, “Attorney disagree on limits for damages in malpractice case,” Dennis Pelham, June 17, 2014.State of Michigan Department of Treasury, “Limitation on Noneconomic Damages and Product Liability Determination on Economic Damages,” Accessed July 17, 2014. 

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