In 2011, a fund was created during New York Medicaid reform to benefit babies born at hospitals with neurological damage. According to a report in The New York Law Journal, a Brooklyn judge has decided that the fund should benefit home-birthed babies as well.
The judge ruled that the Governor and the Legislature didn’t intend for the location of the birth to exclude babies from benefits. Babies born with neurological damage are now qualified for financial support in New York whether they were born at home or at the hospital.
It’s unclear if this ruling will have a significant impact on New Yorkers as a whole, but it will benefit the few families dealing with neurological disorders after a home birth. There are only about 500 to 600 home births in New York each year compared to about 125,506 live births that happen in New York hospitals. Furthermore, complications only arise in home births about 10 percent of the time.
This ruling was the consequence of a medical malpractice case. In that case, a newborn suffered impairments during a home birth. The family was awarded $3 million, which included $1.2 million from the medical providers, and a payment from the state medical indemnity fund. A third-party administrator of the fund denied the application because the neurological damages happened at home and not at a hospital. The family then fought back and was successful.
If your child was born with birth injuries and impairments, don’t hesitate to research your legal rights and options. A New York medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you get monetary support for your tremendous losses.
Contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP to discuss your situation. You can reach us at (212) 986-7353.