$31,860,000-Failure To Perform Timely Cesarean Based On The Variable Decelerations And The Presence Of Meconium

F&F# A01037


Jury Verdict: $31,860,112.00
Breakdown: Past Pain & Suffering: $50,000; Pain & Suffering: $5,000,000; Medical Supplies & Equipment: $56,215, Home/Facility Care: $22,500,000; Rehabilitative Therapies: $1,003,897.00; Impairment of Earning Ability: $3,250,000.

Settlement amount of $4,000,000 pursuant to pre-verdict high-low agreement.


  • Static encephalopathy
  • Gait dysfunction
  • Mental retardation
  • Severe language delay
  • Global developmental delays
  • Secondary microcephaly
  • Wears leg braces

Plaintiff was 6 yrs. Old at the time of trial. There was no diagnosis of cerebral palsy, but he was noted to be ataxic. He had delayed developmental milestones and severely delayed speech development. He was not toilet trained. He was mentally retarded. He had secondary microcephaly. Plaintiff’s pediatric neurologist attributed plaintiff’s injuries to hypoxemia and ischemia.

The infant Plaintiff was born full term via a cesarean section on October 20, 1998 at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

Plaintiff mother’s obstetrical history was significant for a previous C-section at full term for non-progression of labor due to a cephalopelvic disproportion. During her pregnancy with the infant Plaintiff, a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) was planned.

On October 19, 1998, around 11:00 a.m., the Plaintiff mother presented to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center as she had not started labor even two weeks after the due date.  Upon admission, a non-stress test was found to be non reactive and a biophysical profile revealed a score of 8/8.  Labor was induced by Cervidil insertion at 1:14 p.m.  During the following 15 hours, the Plaintiff mother was noted to have had poor progress with the labor.  In the meantime, variable declarations of infant Plaintiff’s fetal heart rate were recorded and meconium was noted.  A decision was not made to deliver the infant Plaintiff via C-section until 5:30 a.m. the next morning, and the infant Plaintiff was delivered at 6:50 a.m.

At birth, the infant Plaintiff was bradycardic and required bagging.   The infant Plaintiff was subsequently intubated.  Thick meconium was found beyond the vocal cords.  The infant Plaintiff was sent to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where he was noted to have tachypnea.  He was diagnosed of respiratory distress with an impression of meconium aspiration.  Infant Plaintiff was discharged after 3 days of hospitalization.  At the time of discharge, infant Plaintiff’s head size was noted to have reduced from 38 centimeters at birth to 35 centimeters, which was suggestive of significant edema.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm successfully argued that Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, its agents and employees, departed from generally good and accepted medical practice by (i) failing to adequately inform the Plaintiff mother of the risks of a trial of labor; (ii) failing to appreciate the significance of a large baby; (iii) improper administration of Cervidil for induction; (iv) failing to properly monitor the progression of labor; (v) failing to diagnose meconium aspiration syndrome; and (vi) failing to timely deliver the infant Plaintiff by a cesarean section, which resulted in severe and permanent injuries to the infant Plaintiff.