Injuries: Deficiencies in Expressive Language, Fine Visuomotor Functioning, Expressive Language, Aspects of Visual Attention, Auditory Attention, Verbal Memory, Visuospatial Memory, Planning and Verbal Concept Formation
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on April 30, 1996 at second defendant hospital Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center at 27 weeks via vaginal delivery. She weighed 1 lb 11 oz at birth.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had an uneventful pregnancy. She had no prenatal surgery, significant injuries or other illnesses; nor did she have blood changes. She also tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI). However, she did ultimately test positive for chorioamnionitis.
At a prenatal appointment at first defendant hospital Comprehensive Community Developmental d/b/a Soundview Health Center on April 11, plaintiff mother complained of lower abdominal pain and pelvic pressure. She was examined, and told that she was 2 cm dilated. As plaintiff mother was only 24 weeks into her pregnancy, she was referred to second defendant hospital’s high risk clinic.
About four days before delivery, on April 27, plaintiff mother developed a cough and a fever. Two days later, plaintiff mother was still unwell. She was transported to second defendant hospital via ambulance, where she was admitted to labor and delivery. Shortly after she was admitted, she began experiencing contractions. She also tested positive for chorioamnionitis.
Ultimately, a short time later, plaintiff mother delivered infant plaintiff. Infant plaintiff’s Apgar scores were 7 and 8 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Infant plaintiff was intubated in the delivery room and transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Up until the 3rd week of life, infant plaintiff was doing well until she developed a low platelet count, elevated direct bilirubin, skin rash, anemia, and lymphocytosis. Hospital staff ran a number of tests. Ultimately, infant plaintiff tested positive for antibodies to toxoplasmosis.
Infant plaintiff ultimately spent three months in the NICU and was diagnosed with the following: respiratory distress syndrome (RDS); hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia; chronic respiratory disease; transient neonatal thrombocytopenia; jaundice; patent ductus arteriosis; and anemia of prematurity.
Infant plaintiff was also eventually diagnosed with deficiencies in expressive language, fine visuomotor functioning, expressive language, aspects of visual attention, auditory attention, verbal memory, visuospatial memory, planning and verbal concept formation.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that first and second defendant hospitals departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to administer tocolytics to stave off premature birth and failing to perform a cerclage in light of reduction in maternal fever, both of which resulted in infant plaintiff sustaining severe and permanent injuries. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald ultimately settled with first defendant for a total of $100,000.00 and second defendant for a total of $1,250,000.00.