Injuries: Cerebral Palsy, Severe Spasticity, Severe Motor Difficulties and Developmental Delays, Asthma, Epilepsy, Wheelchair-Bound
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on December 6, 2004 at Brooklyn Hospital Center at 27 weeks gestation via emergency caesarian section. She weighed 1 lb 15 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); however, she had a cerclage put in during the 15th week and had a urinary tract infection (UTI) during the fifth month of her pregnancy.
On December 1, 2004 at around 10:00 a.m., plaintiff mother was at home when her water broke. She called EMS, and was transported to defendant hospital via ambulance. She was admitted and examined, and a fetal heart rate monitor was placed on her stomach. She was also administered magnesium sulfate to prevent preterm birth. Hospital staff continued to monitor her over the next five days.
On December 6, 2004, plaintiff mother was told that the fetal heart rate monitor was indicating that the baby was in distress, and that an emergency caesarian section was necessary. Eventually, at 10:11 p.m., infant plaintiff was born. She was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she was intubated and then put on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). She also underwent phototherapy for jaundice and two blood transfusions.
Infant plaintiff continued to improve over the next couple of weeks; however, in January, infant plaintiff had a seizure. Plaintiff mother was told that infant plaintiff had had dangerously high sodium levels, which had caused a hemorrhage, which in turn had caused the seizure.
Ultimately, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She also developed severe spasticity during the first year of her life. Currently, she suffers from severe motor difficulties and developmental delays, as well as asthma and epilepsy. She is wheelchair bound and wears a patch on her left eye because her eye wanders. Although she makes sounds, she remains nonverbal. She is entirely dependent on others for all the activities of her daily living.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital staff departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to properly monitor infant plaintiff’s sodium levels, which ultimately resulted in infant plaintiff sustaining severe and permanent injuries. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $2,200,000.00.