Birth Injury, Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, Developmental Delays, Deficits in Expressive Language, Visual Attention, Auditory Attention, Visuospatial Construction, Verbal Memory, Lung Damage
Injuries: Birth Injury, Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, Developmental Delays, Deficits in Expressive Language, Visual Attention, Auditory Attention, Visuospatial Construction, Verbal Memory, Lung Damage
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on October 16, 2002 at Defendant Hospital St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center at 42 weeks gestation via vaginal delivery.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had an uneventful pregnancy. She had no prenatal surgery, significant injuries or other illnesses; nor did she have high blood pressure, protein in her urine, or blood changes. She tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI).
Plaintiff mother was admitted to defendant hospital on October 15, 2002 at 11:38 a.m. The next day, at around 9:15 a.m., an intern noted that there was thick meconium present and a non-reactive fetal heart rate. Infant plaintiff was born approximately an hour later at 10:15 a.m. His Apgar scores were 9 and 9 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Physical examination of infant plaintiff at birth showed expiratory grunting and subcostal retraction, likely due to meconium aspiration. Infant plaintiff was then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
At six years old, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with deficits in expressive language, visual attention, auditory attention, visuospatial construction, and verbal memory. He was also diagnosed with lung damage.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in New York County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to prevent meconium aspiration, failing to timely deliver infant plaintiff via caesarian section in light of presence of thick meconium and non-reactive fetal heart rate, and failing to perform a laryngoscopy, and that these departures resulted in serious and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $1,000,000.00.