Mental Retardation, Delays In Fine Motor Functioning, Gross Motor Functioning, Speech, Language
Injuries: Mental Retardation, Delays In Fine Motor Functioning, Gross Motor Functioning, Speech, Language
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on December 4, 1998 at Defendant Hospital Kings County Hospital Center via caesarian section. He weighed 8 lbs 15 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 blood changes. She also tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI). She experienced some light spotting at six months, but she was told that this was normal and that everything was fine.
On the day before delivery, plaintiff mother went to a routine prenatal visit. She was examined, and told that the fetal heart rate monitor had revealed that the baby’s heart rate was too low, and that he was in distress. Plaintiff mother was sent to the labor and delivery unit, and remained under observation for the next couple of hours. Sometime during the evening plaintiff mother was given an epidural because she was in a lot of pain.
Plaintiff mother remained under observation for the rest of the night. She recalls being told that she was not dilating. However, the baby was still in distress, so hospital staff needed to induce labor and possibly perform an emergency caesarian section. Plaintiff mother recalls that at that point, one of the doctors artificially ruptured her membranes (AROM). A short time later, at 1:39 p.m., infant plaintiff was born via emergency caesarian section.
Plaintiff mother recalls that she did not know the condition of the baby immediately after birth, as hospital staff rushed him away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
A little while later, plaintiff mother asked to see her baby. She was told that she could not right at that moment, because the baby had been “trembling” and needed to remain under observation.
Seven days later, infant plaintiff was discharged from the hospital as a healthy baby.
However, when infant plaintiff was approximately one year old, plaintiff mother was told at a routine pediatric visit that infant plaintiff was “delayed.”
Ultimately, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with mental retardation.
Currently, infant plaintiff can speak in complete sentences, with about 4 to 5 words per sentence. He can write his own name, but it is messy. He can put his clothes on, but requires assistance with clothing that has a zipper and / or buttons. He cannot tie his shoes. He is potty trained, but wets the bed at night. He can count from 1 to 20, but cannot do simple math problems. He cannot read. His ability to go about any activities of daily living is seriously impacted, and he will require constant supervision for the rest of his life.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings 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 in light of the non-reassuring fetal heart rate (FHR) monitor strips and meconium-stained amniotic fluid, both of which ultimately resulted in infant plaintiff sustaining hypoxic-ischemic injury to the brain, which ultimately resulted in severe and permanent injuries to the child. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $1,500,000.00.