Avenal family gets $9.6 million for botched delivery of baby

A U.S. District Court judge in Sacramento awarded $9.6 million in damages to the family of a 3  1⁄2 -year-old girl who suffered severe brain injury during her 2012 delivery.

Due to the birth injury, the child will be unable to walk, talk or care for herself. She’s blind, must be fed through a feeding tube in her stomach and also suffers from seizures. In addition, she has a significantly diminished life expectancy.

The child, whose family lives in Avenal, was born in Susanville.

Most of the damages awarded will be used to pay for a 24-hour licensed vocational nurse, care for the rest of the child’s life and medical expenses.

The case involved Susanville Dr. Paul Davainis, who the family’s lawyer, Dr. Bruce Fagel, said waited too long to call for a Caesarian section for the mother, Micaela Palacio.

Dr. Davainis, who was called to Banner-Lassen Hopsital, was employed at the time by the Northeastern Rural Health Clinic in Susanville, which was a federally funded clinic, making the United States liable for his negligence.

The trial lasted eight days. In Judge John A. Mendez’s ruling, filed Oct. 29, he agreed that Davainis waited too long to deliver the child.