$4,125,000-Fetal distress and failure to timely perform cesarean section resulted in cerebral palsy

The Fitzgerald Law Firm Case #A02130

Medical Malpractice

Cerebral Palsy, Blindness and Mental Retardation

Jury Verdict: $4,125,000


  • Cerebral Palsy with spastic quadraparisis;
  • Mental retardation;
  • Seizure disorder;
  • Blindness;
  • Microcephaly; and
  • Severe global developmental delays.

Facts and Claim of Liability:    

Infant Plaintiff was born at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center via cesarean section on April 20, 1993.  Infant plaintiff (Twin B) was the product of a twin pregnancy.

On April 19, 1993, the infant Plaintiff’s mother visited her prenatal care provider, The Maternity Infant Care Family Planning Project for a routine check-up.  After the examination, infant Plaintiff’s mother was told to have a non-stress test (NST) on the following day.  No explanations were given.

On April 20, 1993, a NST performed at 2:51 p.m. at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center indicated that the twin fetuses were in distress.  Fetal heart rate monitoring (FHRM) also revealed that the heart rates of both twins were increasing.  At 4:35 p.m., Twin A was noted to have no fetal heart rate, no fetal movement and Twin B (infant Plaintiff) was found to have decreased fetal heart rate and fetal movement. At 5:00 p.m., a labor and delivery note indicated severe oligohydramnios of Twin A (no fluid) and oligohydramnios of Twin B. A cesarean section was finally performed at 6:22 p.m., more than three hours after fetal distress was discovered.  Twin A was born dead, while Twin B (infant Plaintiff) was delivered with Apgar scores of 5 and 7 at 1 and 5 minutes respectively.  Infant Plaintiff was immediately transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and remained in the hospital for 3 weeks.  During the hospitalization, several episodes of seizure were noted. The infant was diagnosed with neonatal neurological syndrome. A germinal matrix bleed was diagnosed.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm argued that The Maternity Infant Care Family Planning Project, its agent and employees, departed from generally good and accepted medical practice while providing prenatal care, by failing to monitor signs of fetal compromise and suggest an early NST.  The Fitzgerald Law Firm also contended that Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, its agent and employees, departed from generally good and accepted medical practice by failing to (i) prevent intracerebral hemorrhage; (ii) monitor and take heed of the significant signs and symptoms of fetal distress and ignoring the presence of decelerations of the fetal heart;(iii) providing proper care and treatment of fetal distress; (iv) recognize and take cognizance of a high risk pregnancy; (v) timely and properly deliver the infant by cesarean section; and (vi) properly maintain and preserve medical records, including fetal heart monitoring strips.