A 14-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her Cesarean section birth at Kaiser Permanente's Anaheim, Calif. hospital in 1994 received a $3.2 million settlement this month. Ariana Ehtemam wasn't breathing when she was born and since has suffered physical and behavioral problems, according to court documents obtained by the Orange County Register.
The money from Kaiser has purchased an annuity worth $20 million over her lifetime. She will receive the first payment at 18.
"We were surprised by the verdict but want to extend our sympathy to the family," Kaiser spokesman Jim Anderson told the Register.
Court settlement papers maintained the birthing operation on the mother, Ela Ehtemam, wasn't performed in a timely matter. The baby had to be resuscitated and now suffers from hearing loss, poor impulse control and attention deficits.
"She is keeping up with her schooling," Frank Barbaro, an attorney for the family, said. "She has a lot of accommodations and a school district that responds to her needs."
In California, malpractice judgments are capped at ,000 for pain and suffering but additional judgments for lost wages and rehabilitative care may be sought. Some Orange County medical malpractice judgments have exceeded $15 million, according to the Register.