Medical Malpractice, Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, Asymetric Spastic Quadriparesis, Seizure Disorder, Severe Cognitive Delays, Motor and Language Delays, Hyposmolality
Injuries: Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, Asymetric Spastic Quadriparesis, Seizure Disorder, Severe Cognitive Delays, Motor and Language Delays, Hyposmolality
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on December 15, 2007 at Defendant Hospital Montefiore Medical Center at 40 weeks gestation via caesarian section.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had a history of Group B streptococcus. She also previously had a caesarian section due to arrest of labor.
On the day of delivery at around 5:30 a.m., plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital complaining of severe labor pains. Plaintiff mother was examined and told by a doctor to be 5 cm dilated. Three hours later, she was examined again, and was again told that she was 5 cm dilated. Two hours later, at 2 p.m., she was told she was 4 to 5 cm dilated. At that point, plaintiff mother was informed that hospital staff had detected repetitive variable fetal heart rate decelerations (which had in fact been present off and on from around the time she was admitted), and that a caesarian section was needed due to labor arrest. Plaintiff mother agreed. Eventually, the baby was born via caesarian section at 3:53 p.m. Plaintiff mother recalls that the baby was listless and floppy, and exhibited no signs of respiratory effort. The baby was bagged and masked, and then intubated and transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Later that day, in the NICU, infant plaintiff began seizing, and was placed on Phenobarbital. Hospital staff suspected perinatal distress / hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy as the cause. Eventually, it was determined that the baby would be transferred to New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center in order to receive “brain cooling” treatment for his hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. While at New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center, infant plaintiff was also diagnosed with acidosis, cerebral artery occlusion, unspecified, with cerebral infarction, convulsions, and hyposmolality. An MRI also revealed several small diffusions in the basal ganglia and small par-occipital focus of restricted diffusion.
Currently, at five and a half years old, infant plaintiff has spastic quadriparesis. He is non-ambulatory, and is essentially non-verbal. He suffers from severe cognitive delays, and requires extensive care by neurologists, orthopedists, pediatricians, internists, and psychiatrists. He also requires special education services, including (but not limited to) occupational, physical, and speech therapy. He will never be gainfully employed, and will never be able to live independently. Plaintiff mother has been told that all of his injuries are the result of the severe hypoxic-ischemic injury he suffered during the perinatal period.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant staff and defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely deliver infant plaintiff by caesarian section after arrest in dilatation, variable decelerations, reduced variability and insufficient acceleration, which resulted in severe and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendants for a total of $4,500,000.00, including payment for pain and suffering, loss of wages, non-medical damages, and future medicals.