Paralyzed Mother Awarded $35.4 Million for Stroke During Labor

Laura Woods | May 21st, 2015

Justice scales gavel courtroom

On May 7, a Massachusetts jury awarded $35.4 million — $41 million with interest — to a Walpole mother who was paralyzed from a stroke seven years ago, hours after giving birth to her only child. Andrea Larkin was once a marathon runner, but is now completely paralyzed, with the exception of movement in her right arm.

In 2004, Larkin suffered from dizzy spells after running the Boston Marathon and went to the doctor for an exam. Results of an MRI and a CAT scan revealed brain abnormalities that required the doctor to place her on a list of patients with certain medical conditions that other doctors have access to. However, the doctor never placed her on the list.

Medical negligence results in a stroke

Larkin got pregnant four years later, but her obstetrician wasn’t aware of her brain irregularities because her name did not appear in the database. If the doctor would’ve known about her issues, she would have performed a caesarean section, because it was unsafe for her to be in labor.

She delivered her daughter Alexa without having a caesarean section, but suffered a massive stroke just hours after the birth. Larkin now requires round-the-clock care for just about everything. The former teacher is unable to work and even has trouble speaking. The once active woman is now mostly homebound and relies on the daily assistance of two caregivers. The family had been previously been paying for her care out-of-pocket, which totaled more than $200,000 per year.

About strokes

A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, robbing brain tissue of the necessary oxygen and nutrients. The brain cells begin to die within minutes. Prompt treatment is crucial as early action can minimize brain damage and other complications.

Some of the warning signs of a stroke include:

  • Difficulty speaking and understanding
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg
  • Problems seeing with one or both eyes
  • Headache
  • Trouble walking

The impact of the stroke varies by the area of the brain involved and the amount of tissue damaged. A stroke affecting the right side of the brain may cause movement and sensation on the left side of the body to be affected. Conversely, a stroke that damages tissue on the left side of the brain may impact movement and sensation on the right side of the body. Damage to the left side of the brain may cause speech and language disorders.

NY medical malpractice attorneys

When you seek medical attention, you expect healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care, but unfortunately it doesn’t always go that way. If you or a loved one sustained an injury caused by medical negligence, you need to fight back. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.

The NY medical malpractice attorneys at The Sanders Firm are on your side. Our team of seasoned legal professionals are here to help you get the justice you deserve. We’ve been helping innocent victims in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Long Island for more than 45 years. Schedule a free consultation by calling 1.800.FAIR.PLAY today.