Posted on Aug 09, 2019



In 2014, 16-year-old Erica Bryom gave birth to her daughter, Zubida, at Johns Hopkins Bayview. In a heartbreaking turn of events, this otherwise joyous event went wrong when doctors failed to adequately advise and care for the mother and baby, a mistake that ultimately caused such severe complications in Zubida’s birth that she was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. 


When Bryom was pregnant with her daughter, she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. This meant that she needed to be induced at 25 weeks, and that the safest way for her to deliver her baby would be via C-section. However, her doctors told her quite the opposite – that a C-section could kill her baby. Thus, Bryom, who was only a teenager, was led to believe that traditional labor and delivery would be safer.


Tragically, though Bryom thought she was protecting her child by making this decision, it resulted in her baby’s brain being deprived of oxygen, resulting in the development of cerebral palsy and microcephaly.


The hospital claims that Bryom voluntarily made the decision not to receive a C-section; however, it seems clear that Bryom was misled by her doctors and that at just 16 years old, she thought she was doing everything she could to protect her baby by putting her trust in her doctors’ advice.


Fortunately, the jury in this Baltimore trial saw through the doctors’ claims, and awarded Erica and Zubida $229.6 million. It is impossible to financially compensate a family for an emotionally traumatic experience like this, and money could never undo the damage done by these doctors, but this unusually high award will go a long way in paying for Zubida’s round-the-clock care, as well as pain management and anything else that may help to make her life more comfortable.


We had a very similar case in Washington, DC. Read about Angie's story here.


The facts of this case are devastating, and it is important to remember that they are not as uncommon as we may hope they would be. The Collegian at CU Fresno reports that childbirth injuries are one of the most common types of malpractice claims against doctors and hospitals.  This reality, combined with errors in diagnosis, surgery, and medication prescription, has played a role in why only about one-third of Americans trust medical professionals today.


Clearly, feeling wary of your doctors isn’t unfounded, no matter how unlikely it is that the average person may find themselves a victim of medical malpractice. But if you suspect that you have a case against a doctor or hospital, it is important that you reach out to the necessary professionals to get help. 


If you suspect that your child has developed cerebral palsy, the Center for Disease Control advises that you see a specialist who can diagnose your child, and that you should contact your child’s public school to request intervention services. And if you think that you or your child has been a victim of medical malpractice, seek legal help now.


We represent clients who have faced life-altering consequences due to negligence, and we fight to ensure that our clients have the treatment and care that they need.


If you have questions about medical malpractice and cerebral palsy or think that you have a case, call us at 202-393-3320. There’s no risk or obligation if you call, and we only get paid if we make a recovery on your behalf. 

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer