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John Edwards Helps Recover
$15M Settlement for Mother of
Brain-Damaged Newborn

Apr 25, 2019

Edwards Kirby Partner John Edwards, along with Attorneys Wade Byrd and Mark Hockman of Fayetteville, were successful in securing a $15 million settlement on behalf of a North Carolina mother whose daughter suffered severe brain damage after a nurse failed to properly replace her breathing tube.

About the Case

The confidential settlement against an un-named healthcare provider stems from a lawsuit filed over an incident which occurred in 2014. In March of that year, the mother represented by Edwards and co-counsel gave birth to a premature baby girl. Though the child required a tracheostomy tube to assist in breathing due to a narrow windpipe, it was noted in the suit that she was an otherwise healthy baby.

In April 2014, a licensed practical nursed, believing the breathing tube had been clogged with mucus, removed it from the baby’s throat for cleaning. As alleged in the claim, the nurse failed to replace the breathing tube properly into the child’s throat, and as a result the young girl suffered severe cardiac arrest and respiratory failure, preventing the flow of oxygenated blood to her brain.

The incident caused the baby girl to suffer severe brain damage, as well as permanent disabilities involving cognitive impairment, cortical blindness, difficulty swallowing, and dystonic cerebral palsy affected all four limbs.

Now five years old, the young girl will face a lifetime of medical and living assistive needs. Despite claims and evidence that her condition was caused by the nurse’s failures to uphold her duty of care, and the health care provider’s failures to properly train her, assess her competency, and assign her to duties she was capable of handling, defense attorneys continued to defend the case.

The defense worked to evade liability by assigning blame to the child’s premature birth and arguing that her life expectancy was limited even prior to the incident; however, Edwards and co-counsel accumulated strong evidence to disprove their claims. They were ultimately able to negotiate a settlement which adequately compensates the mother and her baby for their pain and suffering, and for the tremendous financial toll it will have on their lives.

Fighting for Families. Fighting for Futures.

Results like these, though arising from tragic consequences, illustrates the power of our civil justice system when it comes to righting wrongs. It also highlights just how critical it is to work with attorneys experienced in medical malpractice law and negotiations with health care providers and insurers that care more about profits than people – even when victims suffer profound and permanent injuries evidence shows could have clearly been prevented.

The mother in this case, who worked long hours at her full-time job to come home and relieve a nurse to care for her child, was a strong and courageous woman who will now have some semblance of justice and accountability for her daughter’s injuries. Though no amount of money can truly make amends for such profound suffering, the settlement will help the family as they care for the young girl and her lifetime of needs – and hopefully send a message that other health care providers must take every reasonable measure possible to prevent avoidable incidents like this in the future.

Attorney John Edwards and the entire legal team at Edwards Kirby has earned national recognition for our work fighting for injured and wronged families across North Carolina and the U.S. Over the years, our firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for clients, and has secured record-setting results in personal injury and medical malpractice.

Our firm is always available to help victims and families across North Carolina and beyond learn more about their rights following preventable birth injuries and other catastrophic injuries. Contact us to speak with an attorney.

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