$250,000.00 – Developmental Delays, Motor Impairments, Learning Disabilities

F&F# A04039

Developmental Delays, Motor Impairments, Learning Disabilities

Settlement: $250,000

Injuries: Developmental Delays, Motor Impairments, Learning Disabilities

Facts and Claim of Liability:  

Infant plaintiff was born on November 26, 2003 at Defendant Hospital New York-Presbyterian / Allen Hospital via vaginal delivery. He weighed 8 lbs 7 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 tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS), although she did have a urinary tract infection (UTI) during the 7th month of pregnancy.

On November 24 at around 12:00 p.m., plaintiff mother was at home when she began experiencing labor pains. Soon, the pain became intense, so she went to defendant hospital.

Plaintiff mother arrived defendant hospital’s emergency room at around 1:30 p.m. complaining of severe labor pains. She was put into a room and examined, and told that she was not dilating. A fetal heart monitor was placed on her stomach, which revealed that the baby’s heart rate was normal.

Two or three hours later, plaintiff mother was told that she could go home. However, when she tried to get out of bed, she began bleeding vaginally. A sonogram was ordered, and plaintiff mother was told that she did not have enough amniotic fluid, and that the baby’s heart rate was dropping.

The next day, at around 7 or 8:00 p.m., plaintiff mother was transferred to labor and delivery. She was given Pitocin for induction of labor, and about 30 minutes later she began to experience labor pains once again; however, she still was not dilating. Hospital staff routinely checked the fetal heart rate monitor, but plaintiff mother was not told anything regarding the baby’s heart rate. At around 9:00 p.m., plaintiff mother’s water was broken by one of the doctors.

The next day, on November 26, plaintiff mother was again transferred to labor and delivery. Eventually, at 12:12 a.m., infant plaintiff was born; however, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, and he did not cry. Hospital staff were able to able to untangle the umbilical cord from around his neck, and infant plaintiff was taken to the regular nursery.

Less than a day later, plaintiff mother and infant plaintiff were discharged from the hospital.

Two days later, on November 28, plaintiff mother noticed that infant plaintiff was running a high fever (103 degrees F), crying, and shaking uncontrollably. Plaintiff mother rushed him to defendant hospital’s emergency room. Infant plaintiff was examined, and plaintiff mother was told that infant plaintiff was seizing because of his high temperature, and that they were running a number of tests to determine what was wrong. Eventually, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with Group B streptococcus (GBS), and transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He had to have surgery to remove excess fluid from around his brain.

Currently, infant plaintiff receives speech and language therapy twice per week for 30 minutes in a group setting. He also receives occupational therapy. His attention span is poor, and he often fights with his classmates. He is developmentally delayed, and has motor impairments and learning disabilities. He will always be cognitively impaired, and will require educational support. He will have limited employment opportunities. His deficits are permanent and he will require custodial care for the rest of his 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 properly monitor and diagnose plaintiff mother, who had had an infection during labor. This neglect resulted in infant plaintiff contracting GBS, which in turn resulted in his sustaining severe and permanent injuries. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $250,000.00.