Petitioner minor child, represented by his parents is permanently and substantially brain damaged as a result of alleged medical malpracticeon the part of respondent physician and respondent medical center, as well as other medical providers. The petitioner parents filed suit in circuit court against their obstetrician, respondent, his professional association, respondent Hospital, and numerous other defendants. A Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer said that, the trial court abated the circuit court proceedings for a determination by the Division of Administrative Hearings as to whether the infant’s injuries qualified for coverage under the NICA Plan. In the petition for determination of NICA coverage, petitioners alleged that long after the post-delivery period had ended, the minor child’s medical providers committed numerous errors, including administering too much IV fluid and failing to test for serum electrolyte derangements until numerous days after the delivery. As required by statute, NICA was served with the petition in the administrative proceedings. NICA intervened and took the position that he did not suffer a “birth-related neurological injury” within the scope of section 766.302(2).
A Lawyer said that, in a narrow category of cases in which a “birth-related neurological injury” occurs, parents’ common law rights to sue on behalf of their children for medical malpractice are eliminated and replaced by an administrative remedy that provides limited compensation on a no-fault basis. “Birth-related neurological injury” is defined by statute as “injury to the brain caused by oxygen deprivation occurring in the course of labor, delivery, or resuscitation in the immediate post-delivery period in a hospital, which renders the infant permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired.” § 766.302(2), Fla. Stat. (2001).
A Lawyer said that, the First District held that the petitioners were limited to the administrative remedy provided by the NICA Plan, reversing the decision of the administrative law judge (ALJ), who found that the minor child did not suffer a “birth-related neurological injury” as defined by the NICA Plan.