Delays in Communication, Cognition and Motor Delays, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Injuries: Delays in Communication, Cognition and Motor Delays, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on November 26, 2011 at Defendant Hospital Jacobi Medical Center via caesarian section. He weighed 5 lbs 9 oz at birth.
Initially, plaintiff mother had a relatively 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). However, later on in the pregnancy, plaintiff mother developed gestational diabetes.
On the day before delivery, plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital at around 11:30 p.m. complaining of severe abdominal pain. She was put into a room and examined, and a fetal heart monitor was placed on her stomach. The fetal heart monitor showed that there was fetal tachycardia (fetal heart rate above 160 bpm lasting for at least 10 minutes), and hospital staff noted that there was a lack of fetal movement and that the baby was in breech position. Plaintiff mother was told that delivery by caesarian section was necessary. However, infant plaintiff was not delivered until 3:17 a.m. the next morning.
Immediately after birth, infant plaintiff’s Apgar scores were 2 and 5 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Hospital staff noted that he was floppy, apneic, cyanotic, and bradycardic. Infant plaintiff was intubated in the delivery room and transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where he was put on respiratory support. However, infant plaintiff seemed to improve quickly, and he was weaned off of NCPAP within days. A head CT performed on day 3 of life showed no evidence of infarction or hemorrhage. Infant plaintiff was discharged from the hospital one week later, on December 3.
However, at six months of age, infant plaintiff was noted to have motor delays with decreased movements. Although his development did progress, there were significant delays.
An MRI performed at nine months of age revealed some hypoplaxia of the inferior portion of the cerebella vermis.
At 2 ½ years of age, infant plaintiff started in a special class and continued to receive speech, occupational, and physical therapy. A couple of years later, he was diagnosed with delays in personal social skills and communication, as well as cognition and motor delays.
Currently, infant plaintiff still suffers from developmental delays (which are global). He has significant cognitive deficits as well as deficits in executive functioning, as evidenced by his very significant attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These deficits will significantly reduce the strengths he will bring to his future endeavors, including academic pursuits, occupational status, marriage, and child rearing. These deficits are permanent.
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 evidence of fetal distress, lack of fetal movement and suspected placental abruption, and that these departures resulted in infant plaintiff sustaining severe and permanent injuries. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $874,415.78.