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Jury Awards $510,000 for Birth Injury at University Hospital

July 16, 2011

According to a recent New York Times article, a Staten Island jury has awarded $510,000 dollars to a 4-year-old New Brighton boy, who suffered brain injuries while being born at Staten Island University Hospital. The lawsuit alleged that the hospital and obstetrician were negligent in allowing the baby to be deprived of oxygen during labor.

The boy currently suffers from some speech and fine-motor skill problems. His most traumatic injuries occurred right after his birth when he suffered from three or four strokes and had three seizures within 10 hours of his birth. According to the boy' mother, he also has three brain lesions. These lesions combined with his medical history have reduced the boy' life expectancy by seven years according to medical experts.

The lawsuit was filed against the hospital and Dr. Paul Heltzer, an obstetrician-gynecologist. According to the family' lawyer, the boy' birth was extremely difficult. His mother arrived at the hospital in the early stages of labor around 9 a.m. on April 8, 2006, and didn't give birth until almost 19 hours later. Doctors had to break the woman' water when her labor progressed slowly and later administered pitocin, a drug to augment contractions.

According to court reports, the woman was kept on the medicine for too long, and her extended contractions stressed the baby increasing pressure on his brain and limiting the flow of blood and oxygen to his brain. His heart rate rose and later dropped. The family'' lawyer explained that jurors found the hospital and doctor had deviated from standard medical practice due to the extended length of time they gave the mother pitocin during second-stage labor. The lawsuit also alleged that the doctors should have performed a Cc-section several hours before the woman gave vaginal birth.

Chicago birth injury lawyers have settled a similar birth injury suits for millions of dollars. However, each birth injury case must be valued on its own unique set of facts.

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