$4,000,000 – Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury, Spastic Quadriparesis, Motor and Language Delay, Seizures

F&F# A03014

$4,000,000 – Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury, Spastic Quadriparesis, Motor and Language Delay, Seizures

Settlement: $4,000,000

Injuries: Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury, Spastic Quadriparesis, Motor and Language Delay, Seizures

Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on March 25, 1993 at Defendant Hospital North Central Bronx Hospital at 32 weeks gestation via vaginal delivery. She weighed 5 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 high blood pressure, protein in her urine, or blood changes. She tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI). However, plaintiff mother was considered a high-risk pregnancy, as she had previously delivered a baby at 6 months that ultimately did not survive.

A little over a week before delivery, on March 15, plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital complaining of preterm labor (PTL). She was admitted and given Ritrodine (a tocolytic drug used to stop premature labor), and discharged from the hospital two days later, in spite of still being 4 cm dilated and 50% effaced.

Plaintiff mother returned to defendant hospital on March 25 at approximately 11:48 a.m. complaining of labor pains. She was admitted, and put into an observation room, where a fetal heart monitor was placed on her stomach. Hospital staff noted that she was 32-35 weeks, 5 cm dilated, and 100% effaced. By 12:30 p.m., plaintiff mother was 7 cm dilated.

At 1:41 p.m., infant plaintiff was born. Her Apgar scores were 7 and 8, at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Plaintiff mother recalls that infant plaintiff was blue and making grunting noises; however, in spite of this, she was transferred to the regular nursery.

At around 10 p.m., plaintiff mother was visiting infant plaintiff in the regular nursery when she noticed that infant plaintiff was blue and listless. She immediately called for a nurse. A nurse came into the room, examined infant plaintiff, and administered oxygen; however, it was not until 11 p.m. that infant plaintiff was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she was intubated.

Two days later, while in the NICU, infant plaintiff began to experience seizures.

Currently, infant plaintiff does not walk independently, and uses a wheelchair. She has severe motor problems, and experiences difficulty with both strength and coordination in her hands. She requires assistance in using the bathroom, bathing, and dressing herself.

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 properly determine the gestational age of infant plaintiff and assuming that infant plaintiff was 35 weeks; prematurely discharging plaintiff mother in spite of evidence of significant risk of premature delivery; treating infant plaintiff as a result of a 35 week gestation instead of as the result of a 32 week gestation; and failure to timely diagnose and treat infant plaintiff’s neonatal respiratory distress, all of which resulted in infant plaintiff’s sustaining a hypoxic brain injury. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald ultimately settled with defendant for a total of $4,000,000.00.