$350,000.00 – Mild Autism, Speech Delay

File No. 09125

Settlement: $ 350,000.00

Facts and Claim of Liability:

Infant plaintiff, AK was born on September 16, 2002 at the Defendant Weill Cornell Medical Center at 39 week gestation via vaginal delivery with the birth weight of 7 lbs 3 oz.

AK’s mother received prenatal care at private clinic on Queens Boulevard during 7 months gestation, from February to July of 2009. The mother stated that she was not ever told to come back for the next doctor’s visit.

On September 16, 2002 around 4 AM, infant plaintiff’s mother started having labor pains.

At 6:30 AM she presented to the Defendant hospital where she was immediately seen. It was observed that she was 2 cm dilated. At 10 AM, AK’s mother administered epidural, and after that the hospital staff checked on her every couple of hours. Around 7 PM on the same day, she was taken to delivery and started to push. However, she could not push because she did not feel anything. Plaintiff’s mother recalled that the baby was in the birth canal for hours.

At 9:20 PM infant plaintiff was born via NSVD in normal color and with a strong cry but his head was cone-shaped. The doctors decided to send AK to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) where they ran numerous tests. Mother was not notified by the hospital staff that AK had any medical issues. On September 19, AK and his mother were discharged. The defendant hospital’s doctors told infant’s mother that baby’s head would become normal.

When AK was 2 weeks old he was evaluated by a pediatrician as a fine and healthy baby. At the age of 2 and a half, AK said his first words. At 3, he was assessed by the Early Intervention Program specialist as having speech delay. According to the neurologist, at 4 years old AK was mildly autistic, had speech delay, and his fine motor and coordination skills were weak. AK will not be able to attend regular school and will be required to take special educational classes.

The Fitzgerald Lawyers filed suit in County of Queens Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital and staff departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to properly respond to, treat, and prevent hyperstimulation, during the infant plaintiff’s birth on May 16, 2002 when he was born with a cone-shaped head and that this resulted in consequential development of mild autism and speech delay.  The Fitzgerald Lawyers ultimately settled with defendants for a total of $350,000.00.