Static Encephalopathy, Speech and Language Delays
Injuries: Static Encephalopathy, Speech and Language Delays
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on February 5, 2002 at Defendant Hospital Bedford Williamsburg Center at 37 weeks gestation via vaginal delivery. He weighed 5 lbs 14.5 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), although in her second trimester she was treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI).
On the day before delivery, plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital at around 5:00 p.m. complaining of labor pains and contractions. She was put into a room and examined, and told that she was 4 cm dilated. Hospital staff continued to monitor plaintiff mother throughout the night.
At around midnight, plaintiff mother was given medication to ease her pain during labor. Pitocin was also administered around this time.
A couple of hours later, at around 2:26 a.m., infant plaintiff’s sister was born. However, infant plaintiff was not born until a little over half an hour later. Infant plaintiff had a difficult delivery; he was in the footling breech position and a breech extraction (a procedure in which an infant’s feet are grasped by the operator and he / she is extracted from the uterine cavity through the vagina) had to be performed.
Immediately after birth, infant plaintiff was noted to make zero respiratory effort and zero effort at movement. Hospital staff continued Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) until infant plaintiff finally began crying. However, infant plaintiff continued to exhibit signs of respiratory distress, including grunting and retractions. Eventually, at around 3:30 a.m., infant plaintiff was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
A little less than a week later, a head ultrasound was performed. There was no evidence of germinal matrix hemorrhage or intracranial hemorrhage.
Ultimately, infant plaintiff was discharged from the hospital.
In April of 2003, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with static encephalopathy. Soon after, he was also diagnosed with moderate speech and language delays.
Currently, infant plaintiff is in the third grade. He attends school and is in a special education program. He receives speech therapy in school twice per week for a half hour.
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 perform a caesarian section when infant plaintiff presented in a breech position, and that this resulted in severe and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant hospital staff for a total of $250,000. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald continues to pursue the claim against defendant hospital.