At the conclusion of a nonjury trial, a Chicago judge awarded in excess of $23.1 million to the family of a child who suffered catastrophic injuries during her delivery in the family’s medical malpractice lawsuit against a neonatologist and hospital. The hospital was found to be not liable for the alleged negligence but nonetheless will be responsible for $21 million of the total verdict. The parties had stipulated before trial that they would not appeal the verdict of the judge deciding the Chicago medical malpractice birth injury case.
The Chicago birth injury lawsuit was filed in March 2014, for the June 21, 2011 birth. The verdict was rendered on May 8, 2017.
The 38-year-old pregnant woman’s pregnancy was considered high risk due to her age. She chose the defendant hospital because it stated on its website that a neonatologist was on site at the hospital. However, the defendant neonatologist had finished his shift at the hospital and was on his way home without his cellphone in his possession at the time the woman’s delivery went awry.
At some point during the labor and delivery, both the woman and a nurse noticed a large pool of blood on the woman’s bed and that the baby’s heart rate was no longer detectable. The defendant neonatologist was paged but he failed to respond to the page. The defendant neonatologist finally returned to the hospital about twenty minutes after he was reached at home.
The baby was delivered by emergency C-section and required blood at the time of birth because she had lost approximately sixty percent of her blood volume due to a fetal vessel rupture. She had no heart beat for about 21 minutes and she appeared lifeless when she was delivered. Additional blood was necessary and was ordered but there was a delay of about three hours in the blood being made available for transfusion. The baby was transferred to another hospital in guarded condition where she spent nine weeks in its neonatal intensive care unit.
As a result of her blood loss in utero and the substantial period of time her brain did not receive oxygen due to a lack of a heart beat, the baby suffered severe and permanent brain damage. The now 5-year-old girl has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She cannot and will not be able to perform for herself her activities of daily living, and she requires physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. She will never be able to live on her own and she will need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life due to the severity of her brain injury. The child’s mother had to quit her job so that she could stay at home and care for her disabled daughter.
If your baby suffered a birth injury during labor and/or delivery in Chicago or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly find a birth injury lawyer in Chicago or in your state who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you and your child in a birth injury case, if appropriate.
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