$5 Million Settlement in Birth Injury CaseApril 7, 2006
A $5 million settlement was reached before Judge Thomas J. Chiola in the Circuit Court of Cook County on the second day of trial in the case of LaSalle Bank, as Co-Guardian of the Estate of a Baby Boy v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation and Evanston Hospital.
The baby boy was delivered at Evanston Hospital on July 13, 1999. Prior to his delivery, his mother was admitted at Evanston Hospital on July 4, 1999, with complaints of unexplained bleeding and abdominal pain. At that time, an ultrasound was performed reflecting a low-lying placenta. At that time the boy was 38 weeks gestation and at term. Rather than admitting the patient and inducing delivery, the boy's mother was told to return for another prenatal appointment. On July 13, she again presented at Evanston Hospital with complaints of bleeding and was admitted at approximately 1:00 p.m. in labor. When labor failed to progress, she was induced at approximately 4:30 p.m., during which time there was persistent bleeding. Subsequently, blood was found in the amniotic fluid, but it was not until 11:10 p.m. when the fetal monitor strips reflected severe bradychardia that the boy was delivered by forceps. Subsequent to his delivery, the boy suffered severe brain damage due to severe blood loss and lack of oxygen to the brain. Regarding causation of the boy's brain injury, all of the experts disagreed as to the timing of the injury.
The baby boy was represented at trial by Margaret M. Power and Michelle M. Kohut of Corboy & Demetrio. The attorneys argued that the boy should have been delivered on July 4th when his mother was at term with signs of bleeding and an abnormal placenta location. If the boy was born on July 4th, he would have suffered no injuries. Further, the attorneys also argued that he should have been delivered by C-section prior to 11:10 p.m. due to his mother’s persistent bleeding.
According to Power, as a result of the defendants’ negligence, the baby boy suffered a severe, permanent brain injury due to the loss of one-third of his blood volume, resulting in an inadequate flow of oxygen to the brain. The boy suffers from cerebral palsy and is cared for in his home by his parents. The boy has two older, healthy brothers.
Michelle Kohut further stated “this settlement will adequately take care of baby's needs.”
Defendants were represented by Brian Fetzer and Lynn Reid of Johnson & Bell.