Marla Dixon of Miami, Florida, was awarded a $33.8 million settlement by a judge after suing her doctor for malpractice, which caused her child to be born with brain damage.
The doctor decided to leave as the mother was in labor, turning a pregnancy that was totally normal into a child born with brain damage.
Dr. Ata Atogho made a series of mistakes that ended with the child almost dying. First, he ordered more drugs for Dixon, that would strengthen contraction. He also neglected to perform a C-section which became necessary. That was when Atogho started leaving the room having long phone conversations, repeatedly.
The child was born blue and limp, and efforts to necessitate the child were successful, but the lack of oxygen caused permanent brain damage.
When the baby was delivered on Dec. 2, 2013, his face was blue and he was limp. The baby was revived by a medical team but he was left with severe brain damage. Dixon said Atogho blamed her for not pushing hard enough and even falsified the medical record to say she refused to have a C-section.
“Not one time did he apologize,” she said. “He didn’t care. He kept going on with his lies. He blamed me.”
The child, Earl Jr., will require around-the-clock care for the rest of his life. Dixon hopes the payout will help finance her son’s care.
Although a verdict was delivered in the federal case, Atogho was not personally held liable for the outcome and not responsible for the $33.8 million payout because he was working for a federally funded clinic. The government will have to cover the cost of the lawsuit.Dixon also discovered that she wasn’t the first patient to accuse the doctor of malpractice. The same year of Dixon’s delivery, Atogho delivered two other babies who were permanently brain damaged and one that was disabled for life, according to lawsuits filed by all three mothers.
The doctor has reportedly not faced any medical discipline and he still holds his license to practice medicine.