A Baltimore judge has slashed the $229.6 million awarded by a jury to a 16-year-old Prince George’s County mother whose baby suffered a brain injury at birth, but the sum still exceeds $200 million.
The ruling this week by a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge was expected because Maryland has a cap on non-economic damages. This part of the price has been reduced to $740,000 from $25 million.
Lawyers for Erica Byrom, the mother, at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, say the award originally handed down in July against Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center remains a record amount.
Judge Audrey S. Carrion also denied Hopkins Bayview’s motion for a new trial.
Lawyers for the mother had argued the mother was given inaccurate information about her unborn baby’s condition when she was brought to Hopkins in labor in 2014, leading her to refuse a C-section which would have delivered her baby sooner.
Baby Zubida now has cerebral palsy and is living with a foster family, where she needs 16 hours a day of skilled nursing care, the lawyers said.
In a statement, Kim Hoppe, a spokeswoman for Hopkins, said cases like this are “tragic,” but Hopkins officials were disappointed with the decision and would appeal.
“We are confident in the care this patient received, and we have provided ample evidence in the public record that the mother refused our recommended care for mother and baby and that we informed her appropriately on several occasions. assumption of all the risks associated with its decision. “, said Hoppe.
“Furthermore, the jury’s reward in this case far exceeds what even the plaintiff was seeking,” she said. “There should be a better solution in the State of Maryland to meet the medical needs of children in these tragic circumstances. If this does not happen, the number of doctors and hospitals in Maryland able to take the risk of caring for OB patients will likely decrease.