Bergen County Judge Rules that Future Medical Expenses Should Not be Restricted Based on the Affordable Care Act

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Bergen County Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit attorneys near meIn a recent case involving medical practice, a Bergen County Superior Court Judge ruled that potential coverage under the Affordable Care Act should not restrict a claim for future medical expenses.

The aforementioned decision stems from a case involving a 9-year-old girl who suffers from cerebral palsy. In the medical malpractice suit brought by the little girl’s parents, the plaintiffs claim that her condition was caused by medical negligence at Ridgewood’s Valley Hospital, specifically, delayed performance of a C-section during child birth.

Cerebral palsy is a medical term used to describe a collection of neurological conditions that result in physical developmental disabilities. These disabilities typically involve impairments in muscular function and may also lead to problems with vision, hearing, or speech. Cerebral palsy is generally caused by oxygen deprivation, which may be the result of C-section errors or delayed C-section.

Birth Injury Lawsuit in Bergen County, NJ

In this plaintiff’s case, her cerebral palsy prevents her from walking and she is entirely dependent on caretakers. Her existing medical care expenses exceed $3.25 million and her future medical care costs have been projected to amount to between $2.3 million and $4.5 million. The defendants in this case, which include Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and several of its medical professionals, attempted to argue that the young girl’s future medical expenses should be limited because she will receive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

On January 22, 2016, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Robert Wilson ruled against this argument, based on the premise that the defendants cannot guarantee the existence of coverage under the ACA and that estimates regarding the amount of coverage are purely speculative. Judge Wilson opined that the Affordable Care Act may very likely be subject to policy changes in the future, considering the over 50 attempts to repeal or alter it since the bill was enacted in 2010.

Wilson cited a 2006 ruling in New Jersey, specifically the case of Puzio v. Mimms. In this precedential case, the decision stated that future coverage that is contingent, speculative, or subject to change or modification, cannot be deducted from a claim for future medical expenses.

Ultimately, this landmark ruling does not allow defendants in medical malpractice cases to limit the amount associated with future medical expenses for victims simply because the Affordable Care Act may provide for or supplement the amount awarded for medical negligence.

Questions about Cerebral Palsy or Another Birth Injury Case in Bergen County?

The attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group serve as unwavering advocates for victims of medical malpractice, including those who have suffered birth injuries due to C-section errors. If your child suffers from cerebral palsy or another condition and you suspect that medical negligence may have been the cause, contact our offices anytime at 973-435-4551 to discuss your case and find answers to your questions.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Obamacare Doesn’t Limit Recovery in Med Mal Case, Judge Rules

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