Recently, an Oregon woman filed a lawsuit against Portland Adventist Medical Center and one of the hospital's nurses after the woman's newborn son suffocated in a hospital bed. According to the lawsuit, a hospital nurse brought the newborn to the mother's hospital room to breastfeed in the middle of the night. The nurse placed the infant on the mother's bed and left them unattended. Approximately three hours earlier, the mother, who had delivered the baby by cesarean section, was given narcotic pain medication and sleep aids. An hour later, the mother noticed that her son was unresponsive and called for a nurse. After emergency care, the baby was stabilized and placed on life support. The infant underwent a full evaluation and treatment for six days. After a battery of tests, doctors determined that the infant had suffered severe hypoxia and his brain was severely and permanently damaged. The family later agreed to terminate life support and the newborn passed away at ten days old. The family is seeking more than $8 million in economic and non-economic damages.
Ten years ago, Texas passed tort reform, which capped damages in medical malpractice suits, as reported by the Houston Chronicle on September 1, 2013. Specifically, damages for pain and suffering, or non-economic damages, were limited to a maximum of $250,000.00 in recovery.