Managing Partner, Samer Habbas of the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates secures a $600,000 settlement on a medical malpractice case that caused birth defects in a premature baby. An expectant mother at 27 weeks pregnant, had undergone immediate surgery to remove her gallbladder. The doctor who had performed the procedure had inadvertently punctured her uterus during the operation, which resulted in an emergency c-section.
Due to the doctor’s negligence, the mother’s uterus was perforated and she was immediately converted to an open procedure. This left her to suffer severe bladder issues, digestion problems and phantom pain from gallstones. Along with her physical complications, the mother experienced immense anxiety and postpartum depression.
The premature baby spent the first three months of his life isolated in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where he was required to be on numerous medications. After being released from the NICU, the child continued to suffer from behavioral and developmental issues.
This matter highlights the unfairness of the California MICRA law that was enacted in 1975 that limits pain and suffering damages to $250,000 against medical personnel and/or medical facilities. This cap limit has not been adjusted although inflation since 1975 has impacted the value of the dollar. No matter how injured the child was as a result of the doctor’s negligence, California law limits his damages to $250,000, even if the damages last an entire lifetime.
With extensive experience in handling medical malpractice matters, Habbas was still able to settle the case for $600,000, which included an amount for future medical expenses. However, it is clear that California’s MICRA law limiting pain and suffering to $250,000 resulted in an injustice to the injured child and allowed the negligent doctor to escape full responsibility for his actions. Our client’s case is one example why the California MICRA law must be changed.