Rush University Medical Center, clinicians hit with malpractice suit over birth defects 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a response from Rush UMC.

Rush University Medical Center and several of its clinicians were hit this week with a malpractice lawsuit that alleges a baby born at the hospital in 2007 was left disabled following a series of medical errors. 

The boy, who is now 11 years old, was left with permanent brain damage that causes spastic quadriplegia and cortical blindness because of the care provided at his delivery, according to the complaint (PDF) filed in a Northern Illinois district court. The clinical staff "failed to monitor and deliver" the boy promptly, according to the suit, which led him to be deprived of oxygen. 

The boy cannot care for himself, according to the lawsuit, and the amount of damages exceeds $75,000. The complaint lists dozens of mistakes, such as failing to recognize troubling signs or get a second opinion, and points to instances where the clinical team could have prevented further injury to the child. The lawsuit also claims that Rush failed to properly train and monitor the nurses and physicians who treated the boy. 

"One or more of the … acts or omissions by one or more of the employees or agents of Rush University Medical Center was a proximate cause of injuries and damages," according to the lawsuit. 

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A spokesman for Rush declined to comment on the lawsuit, as it is pending litigation.

A recent survey found that more than half (55%) of U.S. doctors had been hit with a malpractice suit at some point in their careers. Of those who had been sued, half had been sued more than once. 

That survey also found that specialists, and especially surgeons or obstetricians and gynecologists, are among the most likely physicians to be sued for malpractice. 

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Medical errors are also a common experience for many patients; research suggests that one in five experiences one. 

Several major hospitals have agreed to multimillion-dollar malpractice settlements over the past several months, with East Texas Medical Center settling a case for $9 million in February. Banner University Medical Center Tucson may also appeal a big-ticket $12 million verdict in a medical mistake case that was awarded late last year.