Medical Malpractice, Seizures, Brain Damage, 100% Wheelchair-Bound, Nonverbal
Injuries: Seizures, Brain Damage, 100% Wheelchair-Bound, Nonverbal
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on December 18, 2004, at Queens Hospital Center via vaginal delivery. He weighed 8 lbs 7 oz.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had an uneventful pregnancy. She did not experience high blood pressure, and did not have protein in her urine, or any blood changes. She did not have pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) or gestational diabetes, and tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI).
About a month and a half after he was born, infant plaintiff was discovered by plaintiff mother to have a fever of 100.5 °F. Plaintiff mother initially took him to the HIP Center in Jamaica, but a doctor told her to take him to Defendant Hospital Long Island Jewish Medical Center to have his blood work done, as well as a spinal tap. Plaintiff mother did so, and recalls that all of the tests came back normal. However, defendant hospital wanted to keep infant plaintiff overnight for observation.
While infant plaintiff and his parents were in a room in the Emergency Room, a nurse came in to hook infant plaintiff up to IV antibiotics in order to prevent infection. Plaintiff father recalls the nurse having a difficult time inserting the IV, and that once the IV had been inserted, it appeared to be dripping too fast. Plaintiff father also recalls his son beginning to cry almost immediately after the substance in the IV had reached him. The nurse informed the father that the baby had “hiccups” and was uncomfortable, and that it might help if he held the baby.
While plaintiff father was holding the baby, he saw the baby’s eyes roll back into his head and felt him beginning to seize. Plaintiff father handed the baby over to the hospital staff that came into the room, and they performed CPR, telling plaintiff father that the baby was in cardiac arrest and had no discernible heartbeat. After a period of about forty minutes, the baby was resuscitated, but subsequent CAT scans revealed that he had suffered severe hypoxic ischemic injury while in cardiac arrest. Eventually, the baby was stabilized; however, he was left with severe neurological deficits.
By the time infant plaintiff reached 9 months, he had developed frequent infantile spasms due to his injuries. Currently, at seven and a half years old, he is severely delayed, and cannot yet sit unsupported. He has no functional use of his hands and has no verbalizations. He continues to take anticonvulsant medications. The deficits that arose as a result of his injuries are expected to be permanent, and from this point on he will require extensive occupational, speech, physical, and visual therapy well into his adult years, as well as a place in a residential facility or, in the alternative, home health care services.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Queens County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital and staff departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to appropriately respond and treat infant plaintiff during his hospitalization on January 25, 2005 and failing to timely and appropriately resuscitate infant plaintiff on January 25, 2005, and that this neglect resulted in severe and permanent injuries to the child. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald ultimately settled with defendants for a total of $1,450,000.00.