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Birth injury lawsuit ends in $17 million award


The lawsuit involved Mark and Lori Pochron of Rices Landing, Pa, and Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va. Dr. Louise Van Riper, an obstetrician with the hospital was also named in the suit.

In June 1996, Lori Pochron went to Monongalia to have her baby delivered.

According to Geoffrey Fieger, an attorney for the plaintiffs, while Pochron was in labor, hospital staff ignored signs from a monitoring device that indicated the baby was in distress. Van Riper, the doctor performing the delivery, was not in the room with Pochron long enough to be aware of the situation, Fieger claimed.

Nine hours after the initial indications of fetal distress were detected, an emergency Caesarian section was performed, said Fieger.

Following the delivery, the Pochron's baby, a girl they named Marissa, spent two weeks at another hospital due to additional complications.

Today, Marissa is nine years old and suffers from cerebral palsy, blindness, and mental impairment.

Feiger said that his medical experts determined Marissa's injuries could have been prevented if the C-section had been performed sooner.

The Pochron's said the award money will be used to fund Marissa's medical care, which she will need for the rest of her life.