The U.S. government has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a medical malpractice case that resulted in severe brain injuries of a newborn.
Dinah and Alejandro Nichols received neo-natal care at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in 2012. Dinah Nichols went to the hospital when she believed she was in active labor. Once there, doctors detected that the baby's heart rate was decelerating. They measured the meconium (baby's first stool) and it was abnormally thick. However, doctors decided not to perform an emergency caesarean section. By the time he was born, Jaxon Nichols had suffered severe brain trauma, seizures, and was blind.
The family sued the hospital and federal government in 2016. In September of last year the two sides entered into a conditional settlement. In it, the government agreed to pay the family and their attorneys a total of $4 million. More than $1.2 million will go to the family's attorneys.
According to the terms of the settlement, $2 million of the settlement will purchase an annuity in Jaxon Nichols' s name. The total expected lifetime settlement for Nichols will be just over $9 million; a lump-sum payment of $772,297 was made immediately.
The case was officially dismissed by the court on January 31.