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Family Of Chinese Woman Who Died During Childbirth Wins $5.2 Million

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The family of a Chinese woman who died during childbirth at an Orange County hospital will receive $5.2 million. Yuanda Hong and his two children were awarded $2 million by a jury yesterday in a civil suit against obstetrician Long-Dei Liu, on top of a $3.2 million settlement Hong reached with Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center, the OC Register reports.

Hong's wife, Ling Nie, 26, died on March 14, 2014 while under Liu's care. Nie had traveled to Orange County to have her baby because she and her husband read online that it was one of the best places in the U.S. to give birth. Nie gave birth to her son on March 9 via C-section, but had complications with the procedure. According to Hong's lawyer, a nurse massaged Nie's uterus after the birth which caused excessive bleeding, requiring Nie to undergo a transfusion. Liu then had Nie transferred to an intensive care unit where a device was used to stop the bleeding. Liu then went home. Within a matter of hours, however, Nie's condition deteriorated. The nurses in the ICU called Liu two hours after he left, but Nie's condition failed to improve after he returned. She was put on life support and died on March 14. Liu blamed the nurses for not calling him earlier.

Nie and Hong met in junior high. She was a financial executive and Hong is an architect. Hong said the couple had heard that the U.S. had the "best medical services," and decided that Nie would travel to Orange County after reading on the Internet that it was one of the best places to give birth in the country.

It is relatively common for well-off Chinese women to give birth in the U.S., and companies in China frequently advertise packages for American citizenship. While so-called "birth tourism" isn't illlegal, the FBI raided 20 SoCal "maternity hotels" in March, accusing the operators of the schemes of taking part in visa fraud and conspiracy by coaching women on how to obtain tourist visas, falsifying records and giving them pointers on how to talk to immigration officers at LAX.

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Hong and Nie had no apparent ties to any of those companies, though Liu can be found on several of their websites.