$53M award in birth injury case of child with cerebral palsy

A jury rendered an award of $53 million to a 12-year-old boy who was born with a serious brain injury following 12 hours of fetal distress in the course of the delivery. The trial in the medical malpractice cased lasted one month, and was initiated in December 2013 by the boy’s guardian, who filed a lawsuit against the University of Chicago Medical Center. The lawsuit alleges that the doctors who were treating the boy’s mother neglected to notice symptoms of distress, and order an emergency cesarean section at the time of her labor and delivery in 2004.

The verdict represents the highest amount won by a plaintiff in a birth injury case in Cook County, Chicago. The only one that exceeds this verdict is that which was won in a medical malpractice case for $55,439,220. As reported in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Lisa Ewing went to the University of Chicago Medical Center in April 2004 to deliver her baby following a full 40-week pregnancy. However, she noticed that the baby was not moving as much as it had been in the earlier stages of the pregnancy. This is a symptom of fetal distress.

It was 2:00 a.m. when she visited the hospital, which was managed by student residents at that time. They were busy, sleeping, or completely unable to manage an emergency situation. Ms. Ewing and her fetus were subjected to a number of tests that indicated that the baby was in fetal distress. Still, she remained in her hospital bed for 12 hours without receiving any significant assistance from hospital staff. During this time, her baby suffocated. Finally, the doctors performed a cesarean section when they realized that the baby had to come out. At the time of delivery, the baby was not breathing, and he was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit. He was resuscitated, put on life support, and was in critical care for another month.

As a result of a lack of oxygen to his brain, the baby developed cerebral palsy and mental retardation. He requires 24-hour care because he cannot bathe, dress or eat by himself. The diagnosis of the cause of the brain injury was hypoxia.

If your child suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of a doctor or hospital staff, call the birth injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik Law Offices.

Sources

  • http://www.chicagolawbulletin.com/Archives/2016/06/30/53M-med-mal-verdict-6-30-16.aspx
  • http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/local/167752185-story