$725,000 Settlement for Wrongful Death of a Newborn

Carol Forte settled a claim for the death of a two-week-old baby. A prenatal fetal heart study showed a possible cardiac defect. The cardiologist allegedly told the obstetrician (OB) that he needed to be notified of the baby’s birth so that he could come to the hospital and do further testing to determine if the baby would need surgery. However, the OB claimed that the cardiologist’s instructions by letter were confusing, and indicted that the cardiologist himself had scheduled an office exam for a time after the baby was discharged from the hospital. The cardiologist was not notified of the birth, and at three days of life the baby’s condition deteriorated from the undiagnosed/untreated serious heart defect he did in fact have. The baby boy died after two weeks of massive brain damage and widespread organ failure. It was the family’s position that steps should’ve been taken by both doctors to follow-up with the baby immediately after he was born; that had this been done, his heart defect would have been correctable with proper surgery.,The issues brought to light by Ms. Forte in this case lead to a revision in hospital policies and procedures, to ensure that this type of lack in communication would not recur.