Victoria Upsey, a pregnant 34-year old single mother, went to a Philadelphia hospital three years ago experiencing complications with her pregnancy. Upon checking in to the hospital, Ms. Upsey was examined by a physician without the assistance of a trained ultrasound technician. The physician initially concluded that the baby had already died. A little over one hour later, another ultrasound was performed during which it was determined that the baby was not in fact dead. The complications were in fact causing the unborn child to be deprived of oxygen. After the second ultrasound, Ms. Upsey was rushed into cesarean surgery and the child was born with cerebral palsy.
Ms. Upsey sued the doctor and the hospital, claiming that if they had acted appropriately her son would not have been born with cerebral palsy. She had her day in court last week, when on Friday a Philadelphia court of common pleas found the hospital, but not the doctor, liable for causing the condition of the fetus to deteriorate and awarded her $78.5 million. The verdict included awards for future medical care of the child, lost earnings, pain and suffering for the child, and emotional distress suffered by Ms. Upsey.