Injuries: Autistic, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Speech and Motor Delays
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on April 22, 1996 at Defendant Hospital Union Hospital of the Bronx at 33 weeks gestation via caesarian section. She weighed 6 lbs 1 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 blood changes. She also tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI). However, during her sixth month of pregnancy, she developed high blood pressure, and was put on medication.
Around the sixth month of her pregnancy, plaintiff mother noticed that infant plaintiff was not “kicking” as much as she had been. Worried, she went to defendant hospital on April 22 at around 8:00 a.m., complaining of lack of fetal movement. Finally put in a room at around 9:00 a.m., plaintiff mother was examined, and then left in her room for awhile. During this time, the fetal heart rate monitor revealed a non-reassuring pattern (specifically, prolonged fetal bradycardia). At around 10:00 a.m., plaintiff mother recalls that a number of doctors came into the room and told her that they needed to perform a caearian section because she was preeclamptic. Not long after, plaintiff mother was taken to an operating room, where she eventually delivered infant plaintiff via caesarian section at 11:59 a.m.
Infant plaintiff’s Apgar scores were 1 and 5 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. Immediately after birth, she was noted as being hypotonic, bradycardic, cyanotic, and with poor respiratory effort. She was intubated in the delivery room and transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). While in the NICU, she received antibiotics. She was discharged after 39 days, with final diagnoses of respiratory distress, metabolic acidosis, hyperbilirubenia, clinical sepsis, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
Currently, infant plaintiff is autistic. She also has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She suffers from speech and motor delays. She wears leg braces and falls often. Her deficits are permanent, and she will require custodial care for the rest of her life.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital staff departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to timely deliver infant plaintiff via caesarian section in light of evidence of fetal distress, which resulted in serious and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $875,000.00.