UC Hospital Settles Medical Malpractice Lawsuit For $9 million

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SACRAMENTO —

Sacramento Superior Court judge Shelleyanne Chang approved an out-of-court settlement giving the parents of Leah Gumb $9 million for her care.  The 20 month old girl was born at the UC Davis Medical Center with permanent brain damage.

“It allows us the best chance at the best quality of life she can have,” said the girl’s mother Jenny Kaminer said of the settlement.

Kaminer was in labor for 7 hours even though doctors knew that her child was in jeopardy. A C-section would have resulted in a normal birth.  Instead, according to Kaminer’s attorney Tom Alch, doctors were convinced that she strongly opposed the procedure.

“That’s no true….If at any point they wanted to perform a Cesarian they had my written consent that they could do so,” said Kaminer.

She is still angry at what she says was an attempt to blame her for the botched birth.  She says the expectations of a normal healthy delivery turned into a nightmare.

“…being told that your child essentially won’t be able to walk, won’t be able to talk, won’t be able to do really any of the things that make life worthwhile was devastating,” said Kaminer.

Leah’s parents have struggled with medical bills and the girl’s father Christoph Gumb quit his job to tend to Leah’s needs.

Pain and suffering awards are limited to $250 thousand in California.  Leah’s parents will get some money for their distress, but the bulk of the money will be used for a life-time annuity that will take care of Leah’s medical bills.

“Nobody walks out of here…rich, buying new cars or anything like that,” said Alch.

The University of California Regents had to approve the settlement, which is the largest birth related malpractice settlement involving the University.

The lawsuit asked for $15 million, but Kaminer said they settled because they wanted to move on with their lives after their second child was born a few months ago, a healthy girl who was born in a different hospital.

The UC Med Center issued this statement following the settlement.

“This case is devastating for everyone involved, especially for the parents and child.  We share their sorrow.  In the best interests of all parties, we reached a settlement agreement. “

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