Jury awards $10 million to parents of brain-injured girl

Published by The Boston Herald, November 19, 1995

A Worcester County Jury has awarded $10 million to the parents of a 7- year-old Shrewsbury girl who suffered brain injuries at birth and today is fed through a tube and cannot walk or talk.

The family will be able to collect about $3 million because lawyers for the two sides agreed to restricted settlement terms before the jury came back.

The jury decided Friday evening that an obstetrician with Worcester OB-GYN Associates failed to note the fetus' failure to grow properly, and failed to note her asphyxiation during delivery.

Robert Higgins, lawyer for Peter and Deborah Whelan, said [the doctor] "let the labor progress and she had severe lack of oxygen. "

The verdict was for $7.25 million in compensatory damages, plus interest. The business was found not liable.

But a complicated agreement before the jury came back—which guaranteed the Whelans at least $500,000 but no more than $6 million—left them with $2.5 million, plus interest.

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