Child Awarded $7.1 Million for Injuries During Her Delivery
An order approving a $7.1 million settlement was entered today by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Carol Pearce McCarthy. The settlement, for injuries seven-year-old received during her mother's labor and delivery at Lutheran General Hospital on August 20, 1994, was reached immediately before jury selection was to begin. According to one of her attorneys, Thomas A. Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio, the girl's mother was admitted to Lutheran General Hospital at 5:30 a.m. on August 20, 1994 in active labor. Demetrio said her obstetrician, Dr. Jeffrey Waitzman, admitted the mother for a vaginal delivery even though she had had a prior cesarean section. The lawsuit alleged that Dr. Waitzman, the labor and delivery room nurse and a resident at Lutheran General Hospital were all negligent in prescribing and administering the drug, pitocin, to increase the intensity of her contractions so that a vaginal birth could be accomplished. Increasing the intensity of the contractions, Demetrio said, resulted in an inadequate flow of blood and oxygen to the fetus. As a result of the initiation of pitocin and the subsequent increase in the dosage, Demetrio said that Allison suffered brain damage just prior to her birth which did not occur until 2:26 p.m. Demetrio stated that the obstetrician was also negligent in failing to perform a C-section and timely delivering the baby.
Demetrio noted that today the plaintiff is mainstreamed in a normal classroom and has normal cognitive and mental abilities. However, she suffers from neurological deficits to all four of her extremities resulting in an inability to ambulate independently.
The settlement includes payment of Dr. Waitzman's entire $2 million insurance policy and $5.1 million from Lutheran General Hospital. Demetrio stated that some of the proceeds will be used to purchase an annuity that will supply payments of over $34 million dollars for the plaintiff's benefit.