Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death
Injuries: Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death
Facts and Claim of Liability:
For most of her pregnancy, plaintiff mother had a relatively uneventful pregnancy. She had no prenatal surgery, significant injuries or other illnesses; nor did she any have blood changes. She also tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI). However, about a month before delivery, plaintiff mother began experiencing swelling of the hands, feet, and face. Plaintiff father recalls that she also began complaining of headaches and epigastric discomfort, and that she mentioned her symptoms at her prenatal appointments, but was never told that she needed to go on any dietary restrictions or anything else. In fact, plaintiff mother was told that her pregnancy was going well, and that the baby was fine.
On November 27, plaintiff mother went to a scheduled prenatal appointment at Defendant Hospital Metropolitan Hospital Center. Tests revealed that her blood pressure was dangerously high, and that she had severe edema. She was admitted, and plaintiff father was called. Once he arrived at the hospital, plaintiff mother was told that she had the option of a vaginal delivery or a caesarean section. Hospital staff induced labor with Pitocin, and a little less than two days later, infant plaintiff was born via vaginal delivery. Plaintiff father recalls that once plaintiff mother had given birth, she did not look well. He told a nurse, who told him that plaintiff mother was just tired from hours of pushing.
At 5:30 a.m., plaintiff mother fainted, and slipped into a coma. Plaintiff father recalls that hospital staff had to resuscitate her twice; however, each time, she still remained unconscious. Eventually, she was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, where she remained in critical condition.
The next day, hospital staff informed plaintiff father that plaintiff mother had inflammation of the brain due to her dangerously high blood pressure, and that that was why she was on life support.
On November 30, hospital staff informed plaintiff father that plaintiff mother had preeclampsia, a “rare condition” that sometimes affected pregnant women. Plaintiff father was also told that there was nothing more they could do for plaintiff mother, and that she should be taken off of life support. Plaintiff father recalls telling hospital staff that he and plaintiff mother’s family were “very religious,” and that they needed to contact the rest of plaintiff mother’s family, and that they would need more time.
On December 3, plaintiff father and plaintiff mother’s family agreed to take plaintiff mother off life support.
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 plaintiff mother in failing to timely diagnose and treat her preeclampsia, and failing to timely deliver infant plaintiff via caesarian section in light of evidence of preeclampsia, HELLP Syndrome, and non-reassuring fetal heart monitor (FHM) strips. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $2,800,000.00.