Injuries: Congenital Toxoplasmosis, Cerbral Palsy, Legally Blind, Wheelchair Bound, Erb’s Palsy, Global Developmental Delays
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on November 13, 2001 at Defendant Hospital Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center at 36 weeks gestation via vaginal delivery. She weighed 5 lbs 14 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).
On November 6, plaintiff mother was about eight months pregnant when, while she was at home, her water broke. She decided to go to the hospital, and arrived at defendant hospital at around 6:30 p.m. She was admitted and put into a room. She was examined, and a sonogram was performed. She was told by a doctor that she had lost almost all of her amniotic fluid, and that hospital staff would continue to observe her because the baby “[wasn’t] in position yet.” Plaintiff mother was hooked up to an IV and told that this would help “avoid any infection.” Throughout this time, plaintiff mother recalls that she was throwing up a lot, but that no one gave her anything for this.
Plaintiff mother remained in defendant hospital. After about a week of no progress, plaintiff mother was administered Pitocin at around 1:00 p.m. on November 13. Plaintiff mother recalls that almost immediately after, she began experiencing labor pains that increased with severity almost every minute.
A couple of hours later, at 4:02 p.m., infant plaintiff was born after a doctor, according to plaintiff mother, “pulled him out” with his hands. Plaintiff mother recalls that immediately after birth, infant plaintiff cried, but appeared almost purple in color. Hospital staff noted that his Apgar scores were 9 and 10 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Plaintiff mother also recalls that shortly thereafter, infant plaintiff was taken away by hospital staff and transported to the regular nursery. However, while there he came down with a fever and began experiencing breathing difficulties, so he was transported to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
On November 16, plaintiff mother was released from defendant hospital. She was told that infant plaintiff needed to stay a few more days due to some “breathing issues,” but that there was nothing to worry about.
Four days later, on November 20, infant plaintiff was released from defendant hospital. Plaintiff mother noticed, upon discharge, that infant plaintiff’s right eye was closed and the skin surrounding it was red. Plaintiff mother was assured that this was “normal in newborns,” and that she shouldn’t worry.
Over the next few months, however, plaintiff mother noticed that infant plaintiff’s eye condition did not improve. She also noted that infant plaintiff was unable to lift or move his left arm. She took infant plaintiff to a pediatrician at defendant hospital, but again was told not to worry.
By the time infant plaintiff was four months old, his condition had not improved. A CT scan revealed that there was fluid around his brain.
When he was six months old, infant plaintiff was seen by a neurologist, who diagnosed him with Erb’s palsy and hydrocephalus. A shunt tube was placed to remove the fluid.
When he was eight months old, infant plaintiff was rushed to defendant hospital for an unknown infection. He was ultimately diagnosed with toxoplasmosis.
Ultimately, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with congenital toxoplasmosis and cerebral palsy. Currently, he is legally blind and wheelchair bound. He has only limited use of his left arm / left hand. He does not speak. He has Erb’s palsy in his left upper extremity and global developmental delays. He also has significant delays in fine motor skills. He is completely dependent on others for all activities of daily life.
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 test plaintiff mother for toxoplasmosis, which ultimately resulted in severe and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $1,500,000.00.