Hypoxic Ischemic Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Left-Sided Spastic Hemiparesis, Cognitive Delays
Injuries: Hypoxic Ischemic Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Left-Sided Spastic Hemiparesis, Cognitive Delays
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on August 27, 1996 at Defendant Hospital Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center via vaginal delivery. He weighed 6 lbs 13 oz at birth.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had a relatively 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).
On the day of delivery, plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital at around 7:00 a.m. complaining of severe labor pains and vaginal contractions. Plaintiff mother was put into a room and a fetal heart rate monitor was placed on her stomach. Hospital staff noted that variable decelerations in the baby’s heart rate were present.
The baby continued to have variable decelerations until delivery at 11:55 a.m. Infant plaintiff’s Apgar scores were 8 and 9 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Hospital staff noted that infant plaintiff appeared hypoactive, and he was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). There, the baby was noted as having dry, peeling skin around his eyes. Hospital staff ran a number of tests. An MRI revealed an old watershed infarction in the left parietal lobe; however, infant plaintiff was discharged from the hospital two days later.
At around 8 months old, infant plaintiff began to exhibit motor delays, as he was not crawling. A right foot deformity was also noted. Plaintiff mother took him to be evaluated by Early Intervention. Ultimately, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with right hemiparetic cerebral palsy.
Currently, infant plaintiff suffers from cerebral palsy and left-sided spastic hemiparesis (which affects his right arm and foot). He wears AFOs (Ankle-foot orthoses) on both legs and a brace on his right arm. He can walk; however, he must walk slowly and he cannot walk long distances, as he tires easily. Infant plaintiff also suffers from cognitive delays, which require special education services. These deficits are directly related to the infarction found in infant plaintiff’s left parietal lobe.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital staff and defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely deliver infant plaintiff in light of evidence of intrauterine umbilical cord compression with fetal compromise, and that this resulted in a hypoxic ischemic result to the brain (which, in turn, resulted in severe and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff). Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $1,237,000.00.