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$10.9 million verdict for birth injuries

by Brian Cummings, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
    The family of a 10-year-old girl was awarded nearly $11 million for injuries she suffered at birth.  The award apparently is the second largest verdict for a birth injury ever handed down by a Cook County jury.
    Terrence K. Hegarty obtained a $10.9 million verdict on behalf of Diana Suttle for injuries she sustained during her birth in 1986 at Lake Forest Hospital.
    The verdict is the third largest birth injury ever delivered by a jury in Illinois and the second largest birth injury in Cook County history, according to the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter.  Only an $11 million verdict in Cook County and a $36 million verdict in Champaign County were higher.
    The bulk of the jury verdict - $7.3 million - was awarded for future earnings, $500,000 for pain and suffering, $1 million for loss of a normal life, $500,000 for disfigurment and $44,000 for past medical expenses.
    The trial lasted from April 24 to May 14, and the jury deliberated for about five hours before reaching its verdict.  The case alleged negligence on the part of the hospital and attending doctors for the Aug. 28, 1986, birth.