Expectant mothers look forward to many things prior to the births of their children, but they rarely anticipate that their babies will suffer harm at birth due to the negligence of health care providers. Children that suffer birth injuries may be owed substantial compensation, including the cost of any ongoing care or treatment they may need throughout their lives. Generally, the issue of what damages are appropriate in a birth injury case is within the purview of the jury, but if either party finds a jury’s verdict to be contrary to the weight of the evidence, they can file a motion to have it set aside. Recently, a New York court discussed the grounds for vacating a jury’s verdict on the issue of damages in a birth injury case. If your child sustained harm at birth, you might be owed damages, and you should confer with a Rochester medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
The History of the Case
It is reported that the defendant physician delivered the plaintiff’s baby at the defendant hospital. The infant suffered severe injuries during labor and delivery, which the plaintiff alleged was due to the defendant’s actions. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury found that the defendant hospital deviated from the standard of care, but the departure did not cause the plaintiff’s harm. The jury found the defendant doctor liable, however, and awarded $10,000,000 for pain and suffering and stated the plaintiff would incur certain economic damages for 90 years. The defendant moved to set aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence. The trial court reduced the verdict for pain and suffering to $3,000,000 and the time during which the plaintiff would incur certain economic damages to 45 years but otherwise denied the motion. The defendant then appealed.
Grounds for Setting Aside a Jury’s Verdict
The appellate court explained that a verdict issued by a jury should not be set aside as against the weight of the evidence unless no fair interpretation of the evidence would support the verdict. Further, the court noted that the jury’s evaluation of the credibility of conflicting expert witnesses should be granted great weight, as the jury has the opportunity to hear and observe the experts. Continue reading