Girl Born Disabled Gets $9,170 Per Month Settlment

Girl Born Disabled Gets $9,170 Per Month Settlment

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- A 7-year-old girl left severely disabled after a botched delivery at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital will receive $9,170 per month for the rest of her life as the result of a lawsuit settlement.

Sidney Strachan was born May 19, 1997, but things went seriously awry during the labor and delivery, according to the British Columbia Supreme Court.

The girl suffers from cerebral palsy, vision impairment, severe feet and leg deformities and epilepsy with grand-mal seizures. She can only speak with basic sounds. Brain damage has reduced her cognitive powers.

Her parents, Clifford and Holly Strachan, who now live in Utah, sued the hospital, the nurses and doctors involved, alleging a breach in the standard of care.

By the time of the trial in February last year, some of the defendants had admitted liability.

The Strachans subsequently reached a settlement with the hospital and some defendants.

In December, a public trustee recommended a settlement, and B.C. Supreme Court Justice Malcolm Macaulay on Tuesday confirmed the details.

Under the agreement, Sidney will receive payments of $9,170, in U.S. dollars, per month starting immediately, with a guarantee for 35 years of $3,851,400. If she lives as long as the most optimistic life expectancy projection suggests, she stands to collect $6,382,320. Her legal fees are expected to be about $800,000.

Irene Faulkner, the family's lawyer, said the parents were very pleased with the ruling and can now move on and get Sidney the care she needs.

Most of the award will be made up of income loss and future care needs, said Faulkner.

Two doctors involved were found liable; two others had the case dismissed against them. Four nurses were found liable but one had her case dismissed.

Delays in the case were partially due to the family's move to Utah in 2003 and the need to hear from additional experts on local area health costs.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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