Result: $40 Million Settlement for Family of Infant Who Suffered Brain Damage in Birth Injury

The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., secured a $40,000,000 settlement for the family of a child who suffered brain damage in a birth injury.

During the early evening of May 22, 1993, the plaintiff was born at a hospital in NY. Earlier that day, the plaintiff’s mother presented to the hospital’s emergency room. She was experiencing contractions that were occurring in intervals of several minutes. She was placed on a fetal heart monitor, which noted late decelerations. She was subsequently transferred to the labor unit. At 6:45 p.m., the plaintiff’s mother signed a surgical release form after it was determined that the infant was in fetal distress. At 7:15 p.m., a stat Caesarean delivery was ordered. The plaintiff was born about 25 minutes later. A CT scan revealed that the plaintiff had suffered subdural and cerebral hemorrhages. The resultant brain damage causes cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia and severe mental retardation.

The plaintiff’s mother, acting individually and as the plaintiff’s parent and natural guardian, sued the hospital’s operator. The plaintiff’s mother alleged that the hospital’s doctors and nurses failed to perform a timely delivery of the plaintiff and that their failures constituted medical malpractice.

The plaintiff’s mother’s expert neurologist opined that the C-section should have been performed about 50 minutes earlier. He opined that, during the 50-minute delay, the plaintiff’s head struck the walls of her mother’s uterus, causing the hemorrhages that inflicted her brain damage.

Defense counsel contended that the plaintiff’s injuries were not connected to the timeliness of the C-section. He claimed that the plaintiff’s brain damage occurred prior to the plaintiff’s mother’s presentation to the hospital.

The plaintiff suffered subdural and cerebral hemorrhages that caused severe brain damage. She suffers cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, severe mental retardation, and deficits of her fine motor skills and her gross motor skills. She cannot communicate, and she is stretcher-bound.

The plaintiff’s mother life-care-planning expert estimated that the plaintiff would require medical attention and physical rehabilitation for the remainder of her life. The plaintiff’s mother’s expert economist estimated that the plaintiff’s future medical and life-care needs would total $60 million.

The plaintiff’s mother sought recovery of the plaintiff’s past and future medical expenses and damages for the plaintiff’s past and future pain and suffering. She also sought recovery of her lost household services.

Defense counsel did not contest the plaintiff’s injuries, but he contended that the plaintiff’s mother’s expert economist had overestimated the plaintiff’s economic damages.