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$144 million awarded in birth trauma suit

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DETROIT, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A mother has been awarded $144 million in her suit against a Michigan hospital and doctors she said left her daughter needing life-long care.

Kimberly VanSlembrouck of Macomb Township said the jury verdict Tuesday against Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak would ensure her brain-injured daughter gets the care she needs for life, The Detroit News reported.

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"It's not about getting rich," she said. "It's helping a poor baby who didn't ask for this."

A civil jury found the hospital negligent in the birth of Markell VanSlembrouck, now 15.

The lawsuit charged Beaumont and delivering doctor Andrew Jay Halperin were negligent in failing to perform a Caesarean section, instead forcing the 10-pound, 12-ounce Markell through the birth canal, causing her to suffer a fractured clavicle, hemorrhaging and severe brain trauma.

In a statement Beaumont Health System said the hospital disagrees with the verdict and plans to appeal.

"We believe we scientifically proved that the child's disabilities are related to a genetic condition," hospital spokesman Bob Ortlieb said.

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