Injuries: Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delays, Spasticity, Wheelchair Bound, Seizure Disorder
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on May 27, 2004 at Defendant Hospital Long Island College Medical Hospital at 31 weeks gestation via emergency caesarian section. She weighed 3 lbs 7 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).
Around the 31st week of her pregnancy, plaintiff mother was at a routine prenatal appointment at defendant hospital when she was told that her “uterus was measuring small.”
About a week and a half later, on June 27 at around 8:00 p.m., plaintiff mother was at a workout class when she began to experience contractions. An ambulance was called, and plaintiff mother was transported to defendant hospital’s emergency room. Once admitted, she was told that the baby was in distress because of placental abruption, and that an emergency caesarian section would have to be performed. Shortly thereafter, infant plaintiff was born. Her Apgar scores were 0 and 2 at 3 and 10 minutes. She was immediately transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she was ultimately diagnosed with birth asphyxia, convulsions, and neonatal jaundice.
Infant plaintiff remained in the hospital for about a month. During that time, infant plaintiff had a seizure. Plaintiff mother recalls that not long after this, an MRI was done, and that, according to hospital staff, it revealed “some” brain damage, although hospital staff would not give her specifics at that time.
Ultimately, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, as well as global developmental delays and failure to thrive. She also suffers from spasticity. She is neither verbal nor ambulatory. She has a home attendant. She wears leg braces and is wheelchair bound. She has suffered from seizures since birth. She is strictly fed Pediasure through a feeding tube. She is completely dependent on others for all of her daily activities. Her deficits are permanent, and she will require custodial care for the rest of her life.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to properly monitor premature infant plaintiff’s symptoms (specifically, her glucose levels), and that this resulted in severe and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $1,250,000.00.