Judge awards parents $42M in federal malpractice lawsuit

Medical Malpractice
Birth injury
brain injury

A federal judge on Thursday awarded nearly $42 million to the parents of a Chambersburg boy who suffered severe brain damage due to a forceps injury at birth in 2012, according to a publicopinononline report.

The boy's parents, Christina Late and Nathan Armolt, sued the federal government due to the actions of a doctor employed by Keystone Women's Health Center, a federally funded group. The center and Dr. Thomas Orndorf were implicated in the case, the report said. 
U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo's verdict followed a six-day bench trial in September, according to the report. The award is believed to be the largest ever for a medical malpractice case in the middle district of Pennsylvania.

The boy, now 5-years-old, understands language, but is unable to express himself, will not be able to read or write, fatigues easily and will be confined to a motorized wheelchair as he gets older, the report said. He also has aggressive emotional outbursts.

In the verdict, U.S. District Judge Sylvia H. Rambo awarded nearly $33 million for future medical and attendant care, $5 million for pain and suffering, $2.7 million for loss of future earnings, $820,000 for the loss of the value of fringe benefits and $104,000 for past medical expenses.

“Judge Rambo appropriately held the government and Dr. Orndorf responsible for the catastrophic injuries caused to this little boy,” said Regan Safier, the parents’ attorney with Kline & Specter, PC. “The court recognized the severity of (the child’s) injuries and awarded what plaintiffs argued was necessary to care for him throughout his lifetime.”

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