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March 26, 2009 - Jurors Award $4 Million in Case of Brain-Damaged Baby

A Palm Beach County jury has awarded $4 million on behalf of a child suffering from severe mental retardation that the family blamed on a delayed delivery in a West Palm Beach hospital more than 11 years ago.

Stephanie Preshong Brown, of Palm City, was carrying twins in July 1997 when she was admitted to Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach for premature contractions. One of the twins, Sydney Preshong Brown, died in utero.

A few weeks later, doctors determined that the other twin, Jordan Preshong Brown, was in distress and decided to deliver by Cesarean section.

The lawsuit contended that problems securing an operating room led to several hours of delay.

Jordan Preshong Brown suffered permanent brain damage that led to cerebral palsy and mental retardation. The family blamed the delayed delivery; the defense argued that the complications came from the premature birth.

The seven-week trial resulted in the jury Monday finding the hospital's then-owner, Good Samaritan Hospital Inc., negligent in the care of Jordan Preshong Brown. The hospital was not found negligent in Sydney Preshong Brown's death. The doctors and other providers had previously settled.

"It was a privilege to represent these parents and this little girl in a heavily litigated and staunchly defended case. This award will permit the family to better meet Jordan's future needs," said the attorney who represented the Browns.

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