$4,000,000-Inadequate care of mother with prenatal diabetes and a urinary tract infection led to cerebral palsy

The Fitzgerald Law Firm Case # 94393A

Medical Malpractice

Prenatal Diabetes and Cerebral Palsy

Settlement: $4,000,000.00


  • Spastic Quadriplegia
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Blindness
  • Severe retardation
  • Severe adductor spasm of hips
  • Overtly dislocated right hip
  • No control over trunk, head and neck
  • Need for special chairs and special adaptive equipment
  • Totally disabled

The Plaintiff has severe neurological impairments. He has profound Spastic Quadriplegia, Microcephaly and is blind. His hips are marked and have knee flexion contractions. His muscle tone is extremely increased in his lowers and has severe abductor spasm about his hips. He is totally dependent on all activities of daily living.  He does not make any sound that can be distinguished as words.

Facts and Claim of Liability:

The infant Plaintiff was born at New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (Queens General Hospital) on January 24, 1990 after a 27-week gestation through spontaneous vaginal delivery.

Plaintiff mother received prenatal care from Queens General Hospital.  Plaintiff mother’s obstetric history was significant for two prior abortions. Her pregnancy with infant Plaintiff was further complicated by prenatal diabetes.

As early as her second prenatal visit in December 1989, Plaintiff mother showed signs and symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) such as growth of E. Coli.  However, the same was not properly diagnosed by the staff at Queens General Hospital.

Eleven days before the infant Plaintiff’s birth, Plaintiff mother was admitted to Queens General Hospital due to problems with diabetes and Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Despite Plaintiff mother’s complicated obstetric history and prenatal complications, no proper antibiotics were administered. During the course of hospitalization, Magnesium Sulfate and Terbutaline was used and a Cerclage was placed.

On January 24, 1990, labor progressed and the infant Plaintiff was delivered at 11:06 a.m. His Apgar scores were 4 and 8 at 1 and 5 minutes. Infant Plaintiff was described as blue, pale and floppy with occasional spontaneous respiration. He was bagged and intubated on the way to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where he was placed on a ventilator with 100% oxygen. A head sonogram revealed a grade IV Intraventricular Hemorrhage. He was diagnosed as having Klebsiella Sepsis. Seizure activities were noticed at five days of age. Hydrocephalus was clearly diagnosed by March 6, 1990.  Sonography had shown significant dilatation of the ventricles as early as February 20, 1990. A Shunt was put in place. Infant Plaintiff was ultimately transferred to another hospital on April 5, 1990 and remained hospitalized until around 4 months of age.

Records indicate that the infant Plaintiff underwent multiple procedures for Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Bilateral Pneumothoraces, Anemia, Metabolic Acidosis, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Hyperbilirubinemia, and Phenobarbital Toxicity.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm
successfully claimed that the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (Queens General Hospital), its agent and employees, departed from generally good and accepted medical practice by failing to: (i) consider the Plaintiff mother’s history of high risk pregnancy; (ii) take serious and rational approach even after Plaintiff mother was diagnosed with prenatal diabetes; (iii) properly treat and diagnose Plaintiff mother’s Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) as related to preterm labor; and  (iv) provide appropriate antibiotics for treatment of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and adequate treatment to prolong the pregnancy. As a result, the infant Plaintiff suffered severe and permanent injuries.