File No. 03117
Injuries: Cognitive Deficits, Attention Deficit Disorder
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on October 15, 1998 at Defendant Hospital Mount Vernon Hospital at 37 weeks gestation via vaginal delivery. He weighed 6 lbs 1/2 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 2:30 a.m., plaintiff mother was at home when she thought that her water broke. She also began experiencing increasingly severe labor pains. She went to defendant hospital some hours later, but hospital staff told her she was merely dehydrated, and that she should go home and drink lots of fluids.
Back at home, plaintiff mother drank lots of fluids and walked around a lot to see if her labor pains became any stronger. When they did, she went back to the hospital at around 8:00 p.m. When hospital staff realized that plaintiff mother’s water had broken earlier, they put her into a room and placed a fetal heart rate monitor on her stomach. She was told that she was about 3 – 4 cm dilated, and that hospital staff would continue to monitor her progress.
Finally, on October 15 at around 4 in the morning, infant plaintiff was born via vaginal delivery. After, he was transferred to the regular nursery.
A couple of days later, on October 17, both plaintiff mother and infant plaintiff were discharged. However, plaintiff mother recalls that as soon as they got home, infant plaintiff did not stop screaming, no matter what she did.
A day and a half later, on October 19, plaintiff mother returned to defendant hospital with infant plaintiff. However, she was told that the baby was merely being colicky, and that she should return home.
The next day, plaintiff mother discovered that infant plaintiff was running a temperature. She decided to take him back to defendant hospital.
On October 21 at around 6:00 a.m., plaintiff mother returned to the hospital, but was told by hospital staff that she should have gone to her pediatrician. Plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to the pediatrician, who discovered that the baby’s temperature was over 103 degrees Fahrenheit. He told plaintiff mother that the baby would have to be transferred to an emergency room immediately.
Infant plaintiff was transported via ambulance to Sound Shore Medical Center, where plaintiff mother was told that it was suspected that the baby had meningitis. A spinal tap was performed, and it was confirmed that the baby did indeed have meningitis. Eventually, he also began exhibiting seizure-like activity. Plaintiff mother was told that the baby would need medication for the seizures, as well as a shunt placed, because he had fluid in his brain.
Currently, infant plaintiff has a number of cognitive deficits, in areas including working memory and executive functioning. He also has deficits in the area of attention, word retrieval, fine motor skills, auditory comprehension and auditory processing and verbal retention.
The Fitzgerald Lawyers filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely diagnose and treat infant plaintiff’s meningitis, which resulted in his sustaining serious and permanent injuries. Ultimately, The Fitzgerald Lawyers settled with defendant for a total of $2,500,000.00.