$4.6 Million for a Baby with Brain Damage and Permanent Disabilities from Delayed Delivery
The Detroit, Michigan birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh, P.C. secure a $2.75 million settlement (total annuity payout: $4.6 million) for a child with developmental delays, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, seizures and brain damage from medical malpractice.
In this case, the Detroit, Michigan birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh, P.C. secured $2.75 million for a baby born with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), white matter brain damage and intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds) with resultant developmental delays, cognitive impairments, learning disabilities and seizures.
The Case: Mismanagement of a High Risk Pregnancy Leads to Birth Injury
At 21 weeks of gestation, the mother visited a health center for her first prenatal care appointment. Given the mother’s advanced age (39 years), history of chronic hypertension, prior preterm induction due to preeclampsia and previous pregnancy with a growth-restricted fetus, medical personnel identified her pregnancy as high risk. She was referred to a high-risk prenatal care clinic. Medical notes from her next prenatal checkup indicated that the mother experienced strenuous work conditions, independently cared for her three children at home and had been using marijuana. Although the mother had three present risk factors for a fetus with intrauterine growth restriction (fetal growth restriction), medical personnel failed to plan for additional monitoring. Furthermore, medical personnel failed to warn the mother of her risk factors for, and dangers of, intrauterine growth restriction.
At 25 weeks of gestation, an ultrasound revealed small fetal size and weight. A subsequent ultrasound tested for, and confirmed, normal fetal heart anatomy. Notes from this ultrasound recorded that amniotic fluid levels decreased by 14 percent since the ultrasound performed during week 25, but medical professionals failed to assess the baby’s growth. The mother did not appear at her next prenatal care appointment.
At her 28-week prenatal appointment, the mother had increased blood pressure and expressed symptoms of headaches. Despite the mother’s ongoing risk factors for a growth-restricted fetus, medical personnel failed to perform ultrasounds, take fundal height measurements, assess fetal heart tracings or monitor fetal movement. After her 28-week visit, the mother missed five weeks of prenatal care appointments.
The mother appeared for her 33-week prenatal care appointment with hypertension (high blood pressure) and fundal height measurements indicating a growth-restricted baby and/or decreased amniotic fluid levels (oligohydramnios). The physician scheduled a test to determine fetal size and amniotic fluid levels for the next day.
When the mother returned to the prenatal clinic the following morning, doctors performed a non-stress test from 8:44 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. The test was non-reassuring. Still in her 33rd week of pregnancy, the mother was sent to the hospital unescorted by a nurse. After arriving at the hospital roughly at 10:13 a.m., she was placed on a fetal monitor. Fetal monitoring strips continued to show non-reassuring fetal heart tracings. An ultrasound was performed at 11:40 a.m., which indicated low amniotic fluid levels (oligohydramnios) and intrauterine growth restriction. An emergency C-section was ordered and performed at 11:56 a.m.
The baby experienced hypoxia, ischemia and metabolic acidosis during delivery, which caused grade III and grade IV intracranial hemorrhages and white matter brain damage. Placental pathology reports indicated significant placental infarcts, intervillous fibrin deposition, chronic villitis and abnormal vascular changes. The child now has developmental delays, cognitive impairments, breakthrough seizures and learning disabilities.
The Verdict: Reiter & Walsh, P.C. Birth Injury Attorneys Secure $4.6 Million for a Baby with Brain Damage
Reiter & Walsh, P.C. attorneys Jesse Reiter, Rebecca Walsh and Jennifer Secorski secured $2.75 million in compensatory damages (total annuity payout: $4.6 million) from doctors and nurses at the defendant hospital and prenatal care clinic. They contended the following:
- Medical personnel from the high-risk clinic should have created a plan to monitor the mother for fetal growth restriction based on her health history
- Medical personnel should have warned the mother about the dangers intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
- Medical personnel should have performed ultrasounds and fundal height measurements to detect and address intrauterine growth restriction and oligohydramnios
- Medical personnel should have performed a non-stress test at the 33-week prenatal care visit
Defendants argued that the baby’s birth injuries resulted from the mother’s noncompliance, specifically her marijuana use and missed prenatal appointments.
Legal Help for Birth Injury
Detroit, Michigan birth injury attorneys helping victims of malpractice with neonatal brain damage, HIE, disabilities and other birth injuries
If an instance of medical negligence injured you or a loved one before, during or after the time of delivery, we encourage you to reach out to our birth injury attorneys today. Our legal team will provide you with a free case review in order to determine if medical malpractice occurred. Should we take your case, you will never be charged until we win or settle in your favor. To begin your free legal consultation, contact the Reiter & Walsh, P.C. team in whichever way best suits your needs:
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Related Reading on Birth Injury
- Reiter & Walsh, P.C.’s birth injury cases, verdicts and settlements
- HIE Help Center: Medical, legal and resource information about hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- Neonatal brain injuries