Posted: January 25, 2014

A homeless woman living in a Los Angeles shelter won a $7.5 M settlement for a hospital’s medical negligence that caused her youngest child to suffer severe brain damage during childbirth.

Dyrene Loftis was 39 weeks pregnant and living with her two other children in 2012 at the Union Rescue Mission when she started to have severe abdominal pains. She was soon after rushed by ambulance to the Los Angeles County University Of Southern California Medical Center to receive treatment.

Loftis then spent 14 hours in the labor and delivery unit without ever seeing an obstetrician and was then released and sent back to the homeless shelter. However, less than 12 hours later she was back at the same hospital with a ruptured uterus requiring her to undergo an emergency C-section. Complications of the delivery caused her baby, Micah, to suffer severe and irreversible brain damage that now requires the assistance of machines to help him breathe and eat.    

The $7.5 settlement was approved by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors by a unanimous vote. It is the largest medical malpractice settlement approved by officials in the last eight years.