Category: Brain Injuries

Multi-million dollar award to child who suffered birth injury: Court examines compensation for “pain and suffering”

by John McKiggan

Child Claims Millions Due to Birth Injury

An Alberta court recently decided a case involving a child who was permanently injured during her birth. The case A.T.-B. v. Mah contained an interesting analysis of a variety of legal issues that typically arise in medical malpractice claims.

I thought the case was worth writing about because of the judge’s views regarding the plaintiff’s claim for compensation for “pain and suffering.”

Is it possible to reverse infant brain injury caused by ischemia?

by John McKiggan

Recent findings out of the Oregon Health and Science University questions the existing understanding that decreased blood flow to a premature fetus’ brain necessarily kills its brain cells.

The Doctors at the University and its attached Children’s hospital have discovered that low blood flow to the developing brain does not necessarily result in permanent loss of brain cells, but rather that it prevents the cells’ abilities to mature. The implications for medical malpractice and birth injury layers is that it may be possible to reverse, or at least mitigate the damage caused by lack of oxygen.

Dr. Stephen Back, professor of pediatrics and neurology at the Oregon University is quoted as saying that the new findings mean:
“…we can focus greater attention on developing the right interventions, at the right time early in development, to promote neurons to more fully mature and reduce the often serious impact of preterm birth. We now have a much more hopeful scenario.”
Approximately 8-percent of births in Canada are pre-term births. There are a number of added risks when a child is born even a few weeks early. One of the major risks is hypoxia or ischemia.

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies law for malpractice victims: Ediger v Johnston

by John McKiggan

The Supreme Court of Canada released an important decision for medical malpractice plaintiffs today.


In Ediger v. Johnston, the plaintiff “C” suffered from brain damage caused during her birth. C now lives with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy. She is tube-fed, confined to a wheel chair and is completely dependent on others for all of her daily needs. She has a significantly reduced life expectancy of 38 years.

Court of Appeal Overturns Award to Brain Injured Baby – Ediger v. Johnston

by John McKiggan

The British Columbia Court of Appeal released its reasons last week in the case of Ediger v. Johnston.

The Facts

Cassidy Ediger suffered an acute and severe hypoxia-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) about 20 minutes before her birth. Her injury was caused by a compression of her umbilical cord which cut off oxygen from the placenta to her brain. The asphyxia caused a deceleration in her fetal heart rate which lasted until Cassidy was delivered by emergency caesarean section.

Negligent Nurse Who Lost License Still Working in Canada

by John McKiggan

In 2001 Spencer Sullivan had elective surgery for neck and back pain at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre. The surgery went well and there were no complications.

Negligent Nursing Care

But while Sullivan was in the hospital recuperating his nurse, Rose McKenzie, gave him two different types of pain medication without checking with the doctors who were in charge of Sullivan’s care. McKenzie then failed to monitor Sullivan throughout the night.

Patient’s Medical Malpractice Claim against Nurse and Hospital Fails

by John McKiggan

A recent decision from Justice Lococo from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirms the difficult odds that injured patients face when pursuing a medical malpractice claim.

Patient Suffered Stroke

In Hasselsjo v. St. Joseph’s Hospital et al, Songja Hasselsjo suffered a stroke. She sued St. Joseph’s Hospital and the nurse that treated her in the emergency department.

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Denies Injured Patient’s Right to Jury Trial

by John McKiggan

Our Court of Appeal recently released a decision upholding the decision of Justice David MacAdam denying a patient who claimed she was the victim of medical malpractice the right to trial by jury.

In Anderson v. QEII Health Sciences Centre, the plaintiff suffered a brain injury which she claimed was due to negligent medical care.

Patient Wanted Jury

Nurses Have a Duty to Ensure Doctors Meet the Standard of Care

by John McKiggan

Nurses Duty to Ensure Appropriate Care

A recent decision from Ontario has found that nurses have a duty to ensure patients receive appropriate care from a responsible physician when faced with a medical emergency.

The court found that the duty to ensure that the patient is seen by a appropriate physician exists even when the patient has already been seen by a resident physician.

$4.5 Million Award for Child Who Suffered Cerebral Palsy Due to Birth Trauma

by John McKiggan

Court Approves Multi-Million Dollar Settlement

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has approved a settlement in a medical malpractice case awarding 4.5 million dollars in compensation to a child who suffered cerebral palsy as a result of injuries suffered during his birth.

Very Complex Claim