Injuries: Severe Spastic Quadriplegia, Severe Microcephaly, Profound Mental Retardation, Daily Seizures
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on March 7, 1997 at Defendant Hospital Westchester Medical Center at 27 weeks gestation via caesarean section. He weighed 850 grams 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).
A couple of weeks before delivery, plaintiff mother was admitted to defendant hospital due to moderate pain and spotting. However, she was discharged home a little over a week later.
On February 28, plaintiff mother again returned to defendant hospital, where it was determined that she had advanced cervical dilation. A fetal heart rate monitor revealed non-reassuring fetal heart rate patterns, and a sonogram revealed that the baby was in a vertex presentation. Soon after, infant plaintiff was delivered via caesarian section. His Apgar scores were 1 and 8 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Hospital staff were concerned about infant plaintiff’s poor condition after birth, so he was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) soon after, where his condition continued to deteriorate. Ultimately, when infant plaintiff was about five weeks old, it was determined that he had Group B streptococcus (GBS) and meningitis.
Currently, infant plaintiff has severe spastic quadriplegia with severe microcephaly and profound mental retardation. He has daily seizures. He continues to be dependent upon a tracheostomy for breathing, and a gastrostomy tube for feeding. He will never be ambulatory or able to take care of his most basic needs including feeding, toileting, dressing, or grooming. 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 departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to diagnose and treat infant plaintiff’s Group B streptococcus (GBS) and meningitis, which ultimately resulted in infant plaintiff sustaining severe and permanent injuries. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $4,098,273.00.