$5.5 Million Settlement for Failure to Properly Treat Pregnant Woman

November 2008

A $5.5 million settlement, negotiated by partner, David R. Barry, Jr., for the failure of a hospital to properly treat a pregnant woman, was reported in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The husband and court appointed guardian of the woman agreed to settle his medical malpractice claim prior to filing a lawsuit.

On November 30, 2005, a 41 years old woman, who was 33 weeks pregnant with her first child, was seen by her obstetrician for a regularly scheduled visit. She had been suffering from pregnancy induced hypertension and was taking medication, but on the day of her office visit her blood pressures were severely elevated. She was directed to go to the labor and delivery department at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for a likely expedited delivery. On her way over to the hospital, she became increasingly symptomatic, developing respiratory distress, which resulted in flash pulmonary edema. While her child was delivered healthy by crash C-section, she suffered a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, which left her with impaired judgment and reasoning skills. She requires surveillance and cannot care for her child alone.  

"In this case, the Northwestern staff should have been more careful in the way the patient was transported to labor and delivery," said attorney Barry. "Instead of sending her without medical supervision, she should have gone by ambulance. That would have expedited her treatment on arrival, too."