MARTINSBURG – A federal judge awarded $7 million to a woman in a lawsuit alleging negligence after her daughter was born.
The court entered its order of bench trial, where it found in favor of Kayla Butts and her minor daughter, A.F. in the amount of $7,136,891.47.
Butts will receive $99,246.98 for past medical bills and $125,232 for past services. A.F. will receive $1,631,125 for her future lost earning capacity, $4,607,834 for her future healthcare costs and $673,453.49 for non-economic damages, according to court documents.
Butts filed the lawsuit in 2016 in Berkeley Circuit Court, and it was later removed to federal court.
The lawsuit was filed against Berkeley Medical Center; West Virginia University Hospital Inc.; Shenandoah Women’s Health Center; Shenandoah Community Health Center; Shenandoah Midwives; Dr. Avinash Purohit; Tracy Swalm; Sara Spurgeon; Shelly Palkovic; Rebecca Pfender; Dr. Sarah Hardy; Sonya Justice; and the United States.
In 2013, Butts became pregnant with A.F. and was treated by various healthcare providers at Shenandoah Women’s Health Clinic, according to the complaints.
On Sept. 8 and 13, 2013, Butts was admitted to City Hospital for preterm contractions and was admitted on Sept. 30, 2013, to WVU Hospitals with nausea and vomiting.
Butts claimed ultimately, she was admitted to Berkeley on Oct. 17, 2013, with a spontaneous rupture of her membranes and her daughter was delivered at 8:50 a.m. with Apgar scores of 2, 4 and 7 and 1, 5 and 10 minutes.
At 8:53 a.m., A.F. was still not breathing properly and there was deep suctioning with small amounts of thick mucus noted, according to the suits.
On Oct. 18, 2013, A.F. suffered at least six periods of apnea and/or desaturation and she was transferred to Winchester Medical Center’s NICU, where she remained for 27 days, according to the suits.
Butts claimed A.F. now suffers from severe and permanent brain damage and all of the injuries associated with it.
The defendants failed to properly and timely intubate A.F.; failed to properly and timely conduct laboratory and diagnostic studies of A.F.; failed to properly and timely transfer A.F.; and failed to accurately keep medical records, according to the suits.
Butts claimed the defendants was also otherwise negligent and caused her minor child damages.
Butts was represented by Barry J. Nace of Paulson & Nace; and D. Michael Burke of Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson.
The case was assigned to District Judge Gina Groh.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case numbers: 3:16-cv-00053