Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) November 13, 2017 – The family of a 5-year-old girl who suffered brain damage resulting from complications during delivery was awarded $23.1 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in May 2014.
The girl’s mother sued Renaissance Medical Group, Palos Community Hospital and a doctor. She alleged that the on-call neonatologist was intentionally unavailable to care for her daughter after her birth. The neonatologist had helped with the infant’s June 2011 delivery at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, Illinois.
“Brain damage is an injury that does not heal over time like other injuries might. It is likely to have a permanent effect on the quality of a person’s life,” commented Briskman Briskman & Greenberg medical malpractice attorney Paul Greenberg, who was not involved in the case. “If a doctor or other medical professional is negligent in caring for a child, there is something that parents or other family members can do. As in this case, they can take action to pursue fair compensation for the child’s medical expenses and hold the responsible party accountable.”
According to court documents, a delayed blood transfusion caused the child to develop cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other serious health problems. The girl now requires constant, lifelong assistance for daily living. She is also undergoing various forms of therapy.
The baby had suffered significant blood loss prior to being delivered via Caesarean section. In addition, her heartbeat could not be detected. Furthermore, she did not receive a full blood transfusion for more than three hours after her birth.
The emergency situation led medical staff to contact the doctor multiple times on his cellphone and pager. They eventually got in touch with the doctor at home after allegedly calling him 12 times in 52 minutes. He reached the hospital after 20 minutes.
In the meantime, the doctor’s associate came to the hospital to supervise the infant’s care. Although the associate ordered blood for her, it was not enough. There was also a delay in procuring additional blood.
According to the doctor’s attorney, “Unfortunately, for the first time and only time in 41 years he left his cellphone and pager at the hospital when he changed his clothes before leaving.” As a result, the doctor could not be reached while he was driving home.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kay Hanlon ruled that the doctor was negligent in his duty of care. The neonatologist worked for Renaissance Medical Group, which provided the hospital with neonatal services. Although the hospital was not found negligent, it is liable for around $21 million of the total damages awarded.
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