$6,000,000 Settlement for Birth Injury
- Date: Winter 2011
- Attorney: Michael B. Zerres
- Settlement: $6,000,000
- Practice Areas: Medical Malpractice, Labor & Delivery, Birth Injury, Cerebral Palsy
The family of a child who was born with cerebral palsy as a result of birth asphyxia obtained a recovery of $6 million against her labor and delivery nurse, as well as the attending physician who was supposed to handle her delivery. The attending physician had a contract with the hospital to perform deliveries on clinic patients, but chose to do an elective termination of pregnancy on another patient on the same day the plaintiffs were admitted to the hospital for labor and delivery. The patient who had the termination of pregnancy had multiple post-operative complications and the attending obstetrician never was able to examine or evaluate the plaintiff. As a result, the plaintiff’s labor was managed by a primary nurse and a 3rd year resident physician. After the mother became fully dilated, the resident was called away to assist on another surgical emergency. At that time, the fetal heart monitor tracings began to reflect fetal compromise and an abnormal contraction pattern. The nurse delayed in contacting a physician, and when she attempted to contact both the attending obstetrician and resident physician, both were unavailable, and no attempt was made to contact her charge nurse or another attending. The mother continued to labor with a non-reassuring fetal heart tracing for another 40 minutes, and when delivery was imminent, the nurse finally called a Code and the resident, who had scrubbed out of her surgery arrived to deliver the baby. The child was born depressed, with low Apgars and required intubation and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. It was determined that the child suffered brain injury as a result of decreased oxygen flow in the last hour before delivery and now lives with cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and is confined to a wheelchair.