According to an article in the Minnesota StarTribune, a settlement was reached this week three days into the trial brought on by the family of a 5 year old boy that suffered from birth injuries leaving him permanently disabled. The parents of the boy accepted a settlement of $8.5 million dollars to cover the cost of their son' past and future medical costs due to the brain injuries he suffered during childbirth.
The boy currently suffers from seizures, is unable to walk or see, and he is also unable to hold his head up on his own. Doctors have told the family that he will continue to be in need of medical care for the rest of his life due to the severity of the brain damage that occurred during his delivery at the Bayonne Medical Center.
According to court testimonies, around 9 a.m., the first signs of fetal distress were made apparent when the heart monitor keeping the baby' heartbeat showed the baby' heart rate suddenly plunged from 140 beats per minute to the dangerously low level of 60 beats per minute. Although this significant drop should have prompted immediate action, the labor and delivery nurse waited for half an hour before calling the attending obstetrician. The medical centers phone records were submitted as evidence in order to prove the time lapse occurred.
The attending obstetrician arrived 22 minutes after the call, but did not perform the emergency Cesarean section until almost 11 a.m. according to records. Medical experts testified that if the c-section had been performed immediately upon the baby' first signs of distress, the doctor could have prevented the serious brain injuries that the boy incurred during his birth.
Expert witnesses also testified that the doctors and facility staff were negligent in not acting sooner. The boy' low heart rate was the result of a compressed umbilical cord which ultimately deprived him of oxygen which led to the brain damage. Chicago birth injury lawyers have settled a similar birth injury suit in excess of 10 million. However, each birth injury case must be valued on its own unique set of facts.