$144.5 Million Birth Trauma Verdict

$144.5 Million Birth Trauma Verdict

A $144.5 million verdict obtained by Fieger Law in 2011 is the largest ever awarded in a medical malpractice case in the nation.

Geoffrey Fieger, with help from Fieger Law Counsel Jack Beam, procured the award on behalf of a Macomb Township family in a tragic birth trauma case against William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

The verdict came in Oakland County Circuit Court on Oct. 18 in front of Judge Rudy J. Nichols.

Fieger Law represented the family of Markell VanSlembrouck, a 15-year-old who sustained serious injuries during her birth at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Fieger argued that doctors should have ordered a C-section for Markell's mother, Kimberly VanSlembrouk, and that the hospital's negligence caused a traumatic birth, which resulted in Markell's severe cerebral palsy.

Now a teenager, Markell can't walk or talk and needs constant care. Her parents assist her 24 hours a day, helping with every aspect of her life, from eating and dressing to bathing.

After a three week trial and three days of deliberation, the jury awarded Fieger's client $144 million.

"Ninety-eight percent of this verdict is economic damages required to care for Markell for the rest of her life. It's $12 per hour, 24 hours per day, for 77 years," Fieger said, plus lost earnings capacity starting in 2018, the year she would have graduated from college. The verdict also includes noneconomic damages, capped at $738,000 by law.

“It’s been an emotional, long time,” said Kimberly VanSlembrouck, mother of Markell VanSlembrouck. “It’s not about getting rich — it’s about helping a poor baby that didn’t ask for this.”

If you think your child's cerebral palsy or birth injury could have been prevented, call 1-800-544-BABY for a free legal consultation.

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