Serving The Injured In New York And Pennsylvania

New York shutters its birth injury fund

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Birth Injuries

New York’s state government recently shut down a fund that helps pay for the care of children who were injured during childbirth through medical malpractice. The move could make it harder for such children and their families to recover compensation they desperately need.

The cost of birth injury

Birth injury — specifically, severe injuries to a baby during the birth process — can hold children back for their entire lives. For example, if a baby is deprived of oxygen during a difficult childbirth, they can suffer permanent brain damage. They may need extensive medical and rehabilitative care for many years, and they may never be able to support themselves financially.

This kind of situation is, of course, emotionally devastating to the families involved. It’s also extraordinarily expensive. Families must pay for all that care, and they may have to support their child well into adulthood.

Childbirth is inherently dangerous, and in some cases, a birth trauma isn’t anyone’s fault. However, there are many cases in which a birth injury comes about due to medical malpractice. In these cases, birth injury lawsuits provide a way for families to recover compensation that can help them care for their child.

Medical Indemnity Fund

New York established the Medical Indemnity Fund in 2011 to help pay settlements in birth injury cases. The original idea was to help children and their families while also protecting health care providers from the enormous costs associated with birth injury.

Since then, the fund has helped nearly 1,000 families. Unfortunately, analysts say, the costs were greater than expected. An internal report found that if it continued accepting new applications for enrollment, the fund would soon be billions of dollars over budget.

Officials decided to stop accepting new applications, but said that children already enrolled in the program will continue to receive funding.