Hematoma, Left Hemiparesis, Spastic Diplegia, Seizure Disorder, Global Developmental Delays
Injuries: Hematoma, Left Hemiparesis, Spastic Diplegia, Seizure Disorder, Global Developmental Delays
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on July 14, 2009 at Defendant Hospital New York-Presbyterian Hospital at 39 weeks gestation via emergency caesarian section. He weighed 6 lbs 2 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 tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS), although she did have a urinary tract infection (UTI) during her 5th week of pregnancy.
On the day of delivery at around 1:00 a.m., plaintiff mother had been sleeping when her water broke. She arrived at defendant hospital’s emergency room at around 3:00 a.m. She was put in a room and examined. Plaintiff mother was told that she would need to be admitted because she was already about 2 cm dilated. An hour later, at 4:30 a.m., she was transferred to labor and delivery and given an epidural for her severe labor pains.
By 7:00 a.m., plaintiff mother was told that she was only about 3 cm dilated and that the labor was progressing slowly. She was given a dose of Pitocin, and hospital staff continued to monitor her.
By 1:00 p.m., plaintiff mother was told that she was fully dilated, but that the baby’s heart rate was dropping. A doctor told plaintiff mother that he was going to prepare her for a caesarian section, but that if the baby’s heart rate stabilized, he was going to try to deliver the baby vaginally. Plaintiff mother was taken to the operating room. Because the baby’s heart rate had stabilized, the doctor attempted to deliver infant plaintiff with forceps; however, after about five minutes, the doctor said that a vaginal delivery would damage the baby, and that they needed to proceed with a caesarian section.
Eventually, at 1:23 p.m., infant plaintiff was born. His Apgar scores were 1 and 7 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Plaintiff mother recalls that his body was blue and limp, and he did not cry. Plaintiff mother also recalls that there was a bruise on one side of his head. However, hospital staff assured plaintiff mother that he was fine, and took him to the regular nursery. A half hour later, infant plaintiff began seizing and was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Later, plaintiff mother and plaintiff father were told that tests had revealed bleeding in the baby’s brain. They were also told that the tests had also revealed scarring on the right side of infant plaintiff’s brain, most likely due to the use of forceps during infant plaintiff’s delivery.
Ultimately, infant plaintiff was diagnosed with a hematoma in the right temporal region of his brain, and a fracture of the right temple. He remained in the hospital until he was 5 weeks of age.
Currently, infant plaintiff has significant left hemiparesis and mild spastic diplegia. He also has a history of seizures and global developmental delays. He receives physical therapy three times per week for thirty minutes per session; speech and feeding therapy three times per week for thirty minutes per session; occupational therapy twice per week for thirty minutes per session; and nutrition and vision therapy once bi-weekly for sixty minutes. He also receives special instruction twice per week for thirty minutes. Infant plaintiff also has a walker, a stander, and an activity chair, and needs them to walk and stand and sit.
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 use forceps during delivery, and failing to timely perform a caesarian section in light of a non-reassuring fetal heart rate. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $1,000,000.00.