Cerebral Palsy, Seizure Disorder, Significant Developmental and Cognitive Delays
Injuries: Cerebral Palsy, Seizure Disorder, Significant Developmental and Cognitive Delays
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on June 9, 2001 at Defendant Hospital Kings County Hospital Center at 39 weeks via vaginal delivery. She weighed 6 lbs 3 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 also tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI).
On the day of delivery at around 10:00 a.m., plaintiff mother began experiencing pelvic pressure and moderate labor pains. She called for an ambulance, and arrived at Defendant Hospital Kings County Hospital Center’s emergency room at around 10:40 a.m. She was put into a room and examined. While she was being examined, her water broke, and she was rushed to a delivery room. Hospital staff suspected that the baby was breech (as they had been unable to feel the baby’s head during the initial examination). An ultrasound was performed, which confirmed that the baby was indeed breech. Plaintiff mother recalls that in spite of being told this, she was encouraged to push, and less than a half hour later infant plaintiff was born, and taken to the regular nursery. Her Apgar scores were 9 and 9 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively.
Plaintiff mother recalls that about an hour later, a doctor came into her room and told her that they had transferred infant plaintiff to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because she was experiencing difficulty breathing and had poor suck. However, infant plaintiff’s condition appeared to improve, and when infant plaintiff was three days old, plaintiff mother and infant plaintiff were discharged from the hospital.
On July 1, plaintiff mother took infant plaintiff to her first pediatric checkup. Plaintiff mother told the doctor that infant plaintiff was crying too much, but the doctor told her that there was nothing to worry about. According to plaintiff mother, the doctor also told plaintiff mother that infant plaintiff had not put any weight on since leaving the hospital; however, he did not give any special instructions or prescribe any medications for this.
Plaintiff mother recalls that in the weeks that followed, infant plaintiff cried constantly and refused to suck on her bottle.
When infant plaintiff was around six months old, infant plaintiff’s eyes rolled back in her head and she stopped breathing. Plaintiff father rushed her to defendant hospital’s emergency room, where he was told that infant plaintiff was having seizures. Infant plaintiff was given Phenobarbital. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with a seizure disorder, and was discharged from defendant hospital a week later.
Currently, infant plaintiff suffers from a seizure disorder. She has significant developmental and cognitive delays. She cannot stay still while sitting, and cannot focus on looking at something. She puts everything in her mouth. She cannot write, and is very awkward holding a pencil. She cannot dress herself. She still wears diapers, and cannot tell when she needs to go to the bathroom. She cannot speak in full sentences, just a few words at a time, but even then her speech is very limited and poorly articulated. She wobbles when she walks and utilizes foot braces in her shoes when at home. She is in a Special Education Program and continues to receive speech, physical, and occupational therapy at school several times per week. She is attended by a paraprofessional from the time she is picked up by the school bus at 7:15 a.m., until she is delivered back home at 3:10 p.m. Infant plaintiff’s neurological injuries and disabilities are permanent. She will never be able to live independently and will require supervision either at home or in a residential setting.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely deliver infant plaintiff via caesarian section in light of frank breech presentation and probable umbilical cord compression. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $3,100,000.00.