Injuries: Cerebral Palsy, Spastic Diplegia, Cognitive Deficits, Hyperactivity
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on September 22, 2005 at Defendant Hospital North Central Bronx Hospital via vaginal delivery. He weighed 7 lbs 4 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).
Two days before delivery, on September 20, plaintiff mother was at her last prenatal appointment at defendant hospital. She was ten days past her due date. An ultrasound was done, and a doctor informed plaintiff mother that the baby did not have enough amniotic fluid, and that plaintiff mother needed to be admitted so that labor could be induced. She was transferred to another room, where a fetal heart rate monitor was placed on her stomach. Shortly thereafter, hospital staff artificially ruptured her membranes (AROM).
The next day, on September 21, plaintiff mother was administered Pitocin. Hours later, she was given an epidural for her pain.
On September 22, plaintiff mother was examined, and told that she was fully dilated. Hospital staff at this time encouraged her to push. However, after about four hours, infant plaintiff still hadn’t been delivered. Throughout this time, the fetal heart rate monitor revealed numerous deep, late decelerations .
Finally, at around 7:27 p.m., an episiotomy was done and infant plaintiff was born. Plaintiff mother recalls that immediately after birth, infant plaintiff did not cry until he was dried and suctioned. His Apgar scores were 1, 4 and 6 at 1, 5 and 10 minutes, respectively. He was then rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where he received oxygen for two days.
A couple of hours later, plaintiff mother was told that infant plaintiff had had a seizure in the NICU. Hospital staff ran tests, including head ultrasounds, but found no evidence of intracranial hemorrhage.
A couple of days later, plaintiff mother was discharged from the hospital. However, infant plaintiff remained in the hospital for a little over a week before he was released home.
By two months of age, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with hypotonia and a head lag. He was also noted to have both motor and speech delays.
Currently, infant plaintiff suffers from cerebral palsy / spastic diplegia of the lower extremities. He still toe walks. His left hand is more spastic than his right, so he tends to use his right hand more than his left. He wears leg braces and has cognitive deficits. He is hyperactive and does not speak clearly. He uses a helmet and requires an electronic speaking device. In the future, he will likely have to use a wheelchair. He requires assistance with dressing and feeding. He is only partially toilet trained. He takes Keppra 5 milligrams twice per day to prevent seizures.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald 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 perform a caesarian section in light of severe oligohydramnios and a failure to progress, and in failing to recognize fetal distress, both of which resulted in severe and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $3,750,000.00.