Record-Setting Verdict Against West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park for Failure to Order Emergency Cesarean
In November, an Illinois jury made up of six men and six women in Cook County decided that West Suburban was liable for medical malpractice. The award was a record-setting $100.6 million verdict for a lawsuit alleging a doctor and staff caused a newborn’s severe and permanent brain damage. The jury’s award is nearly double the previous Illinois record for an infant brain injury case.
Lawyers for the family and the boy, now a 5-year-old, alleged medical malpractice for West Suburban Medical Center and its health care providers due to their failure to recognize signs of fetal distress and order an emergency Cesarean section (C-section) in a timely manner.
- The mother arrived at the hospital in August 2014 because she was concerned the baby she was carrying suddenly became less responsive.
- Although fetal monitoring was initiated, medical staff ignored intervening for a crucial five or more hours while the baby in utero was deprived of oxygen.
- By the time an emergency C-section was performed, it was too late, and the baby had sustained a brain injury while still in the womb.
Today, the boy is completely dependent on the care provided by his mother and around-the-clock medical staff. His brain injury has prevented him from being able to speak, walk or sit up by himself. He suffers from motor delays and moderate cognitive deficits.
Hospital spokespeople told Chicago’s WGN9 they have “no comment on the settlement, but there would be no appeal of the verdict because of a deal made while the jury was still deliberating.” Although the settlement may be worth far less than the $101 million and closer to $50 million under a “high-low agreement”, the award money will provide a lifetime of medical care for the child as he ages and his needs grow.
Caesarean Should Be Used to Deliver a Baby When Natural Childbirth Could Endanger the Mother or Child
In a similar case, Levin & Perconti attorneys took on Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and a physician who later agreed to a $6.5 million cash value settlement for a young girl who suffered a brain injury during birth which resulted in debilitating cerebral palsy with mild to moderate mental retardation. Her brain injury occurred when physicians at the hospital failed to perform a Cesarean section timely. When the newborn was delivered, her brain had been deprived oxygen for over 15 minutes; she suffered hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which caused her cerebral palsy and mental retardation. A family practitioner and a labor and delivery nurse, both defendants in the case, failed to determine the presentation of the baby’s head and failed to diagnose cephalic pelvic disproportion, a condition that occurs when a baby’s head is too large to fit through its mother’s pelvis. If they had, the child would be perfectly healthy today.
When complications are detected during birth, medical practitioners must take quick action to perform C-sections promptly. Failure to do so may result in a serious birth injury to the child, including brain damage and cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation. Also, during C-sections, other preventable mistakes are made, resulting in permanent injury or death.
Contact a Chicago Birth Injury Attorneys
If your baby was injured because medical professionals failed to perform a C-section or made a costly mistake while performing a C-section, you need to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney. Call us at 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417, and someone will get back to you promptly for a free consultation.