Injuries: Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delays, Microcephaly, Fine Motor Impairments
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on October 29, 2000 at Defendant Hospital Metropolitan Hospital Center via vaginal delivery. She weighed 6 lbs 11 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 the day before delivery at around 5:00 a.m., plaintiff mother was at home when she began experiencing severe labor pains. She decided to go to defendant hospital. When she arrived at defendant hospital’s emergency room, she was examined and told that she was “not ready yet,” but that the baby was fine. She was told that she should return home and wait, which she did. At around noon, however, the labor pains once again became severe, so she returned to defendant hospital. Again, she was examined and told that she was still not ready, and that she should return home and wait.
At around 9:00 p.m., plaintiff mother was at home when she began bleeding vaginally. Her husband called for a taxi, and took her back to defendant hospital’s emergency room. Once she arrived, she was immediately admitted and put into a room, where she was examined. She was hooked up to an IV and a fetal heart rate monitor was placed on her stomach. Hospital staff continued to monitor her throughout the night.
The next day, on October 29 at around 9:45 a.m., plaintiff mother recalls that infant plaintiff was finally born after a midwife “pulled him out.” Plaintiff mother also recalls that immediately after birth, infant plaintiff appeared to be “pale,” and did not seem to be moving or breathing. Hospital staff rushed the baby to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where infant plaintiff was intubated and subsequently placed in an incubator.
A little later on, plaintiff mother was told that infant plaintiff had been having seizures. She was also told that infant plaintiff had been born with microcephaly.
When infant plaintiff was about fifteen days old, she was discharged from the hospital. Plaintiff mother was given Phenobarbital to give to infant plaintiff, and was told to return to the hospital if symptoms of seizures again appeared.
When infant plaintiff was a year old, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Currently, infant plaintiff suffers from mental retardation, brain damage, severe global developmental delays, microcephaly, cerebral palsy, and fine motor impairments. She walks but constantly falls due to her inability to balance. She wears orthopedic braces. Because of her lazy eyes condition, she has been wearing glasses since a young age. She is able to say about 20 words, but her speech is unclear, which makes it difficult to understand. Her deficits are permanent, and she will require custodial care for the rest of her life.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in New York County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely perform a caesarian section in light of a prolonged second stage of labor with malpresentation, which resulted in infant plaintiff sustaining severe and permanent injuries. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $2,100,000.00.