Injuries: Developmental Delays, Speech and Cognitive Delays, Seizure Disorder, Brain Injury
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on April 28, 2005 at Defendant Hospital Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester at 31 weeks gestation via caesarian section. He weighed 3 lbs 6 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, plaintiff mother was at a routine prenatal visit. She was examined, and told that the baby did not have enough amniotic fluid and was in breech position, and that she needed to go to defendant hospital so that labor could be induced.
Plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital’s labor and delivery unit at around 2:00 p.m. She was again examined, and told that she would need to have a caesarian section the following day because of her preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) and the baby being in breech position.
The next day, at 10:55 a.m., infant plaintiff was born via caesarian section. Almost immediately after, he was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because he was premature.
Infant plaintiff remained in the hospital until June 17, when he was discharged as a healthy baby.
However, about five days later, on June 22, plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s emergency room because infant plaintiff was vomiting a lot. Plaintiff mother was told that it was nothing. Infant plaintiff was given fluids and a couple of tests were run. Shortly thereafter, he and plaintiff mother were sent home.
The next day, on June 23, infant plaintiff was still vomiting. Plaintiff mother took him back to St. Joseph’s Medical Center, but again was told that it was nothing. Infant plaintiff was again given fluids, and more tests were run. Plaintiff mother and infant plaintiff were then sent home.
By July 19, infant plaintiff’s symptoms still had not abated. Plaintiff mother noted that infant plaintiff was now also “twitching.” She took him to defendant hospital’s emergency room. Hospital staff ran a number of tests, and ultimately determined that infant plaintiff had an electrolyte imbalance, acidosis, and vomiting due to renal disease.
Currently, infant plaintiff suffers from significant developmental delays, as well as speech and cognitive delays. He is hyponatremic, suffers from seizures, and has a brain injury as well. Due to his kidney damage, he also suffers from rickets, and thus has growth delays as well. He is totally dependent on others for his care and maintenance. He will never be employable. His deficits are permanent and he will require custodial care for the rest of his life.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Westchester 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 diagnose and treat infant plaintiff’s kidney infection, which resulted in infant plaintiff sustaining severe and permanent injuries. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $2,500,000.00.