Birth Injury Lawyer: Proposed Birth Injury Fund is Wrong for Maryland

The Maryland legislature led by Senator Catherine Pugh have proposed a birth injury fund to compensate families of children injured at birth in the state’s hospitals. The hospitals would each contribute up to $25 million dollars per year to the fund. Allegedly, this is a response to significant damages awarded to birth injury claimants in Maryland in the recent past.

This is a dangerous proposal for the children and families impacted by birth injuries because it limits the recovery available to them while they face a lifetime of often times around the clock expert care. As the Maryland Reporter writes one actuary estimated that the fund n is only good enough to provide care for 7 children a year. What about the child who becomes the 8th applicant? What about the child who injuries are so severe that it requires significantly more resources than the other applicants. Where will they turn to?

It is important to note that often large sensational awards are often reduced on appeal and more often than not there is sufficient insurance coverage to settle those claims. The judicial system as presently configured is working and the significant cost of litigation a medical malpractice claim is a deterrent for frivolous claims. It cost around $100K dollars to take your average medical malpractice case to trial. The upfront investment lawyers have to make in these types of cases ensures that only the worthy cases are pursued otherwise staying in business would be difficult without exercising proper judgment on what cases to take to trial.

It is wrong to ask children hurt at birth and their families to accept less than due and just compensation that is required to obtain the proper medical care and to live a decent life. The Maryland legislature should think long and hard before turning their backs on these families on behalf of a handful of well heeled hospital organizations. We will wait to see what the committees working on the legislation propose.