$2.9 Million for Child with Severe Cognitive Disability Due to Trauma at Birth and Hypoglycemia

The birth trauma attorneys at ABC Law Centers: Birth Injury Lawyers secured a $1.1 million settlement (total annuity payout: $2.9 million) for a child with severe cognitive disabilities due to traumatic delivery and neonatal hypoglycemia.

The Case: Unsuccessful and Traumatic Vaginal Delivery of a Macrosomic Baby

The mother in this case was 32 years old when she became pregnant; prior to this pregnancy, she had delivered five children, all of whom were under 8 lbs. at birth. She claimed to have full prenatal care; the doctor named could not find her records and stated that he was not her doctor. During her pregnancy, she gained 150 lbs. and weighed more than 350 lbs. when she went into labor at 38 ½ weeks.

Fetal Macrosomia

Initially, she was examined by a resident, whose files noted that the mother believed she was going to have a C-section. This resident called the on-call OB-GYN, who concluded that – based on her previous 5 deliveries – she would have another normal-sized baby. Based on this, and the fact that it is riskier to perform a C-section on an obese patient, they decided to try a vaginal delivery. Medical records did not show evidence of a fetal weight estimate or ultrasound being performed.

The plaintiff’s labor lasted 14 hours, after which point it was clear that vaginal delivery could not occur. The doctor ordered an emergency C-section within 30 minutes. The neonate weighed 11lbs, 8 oz. and stayed in the hospital for 10 days. He also developed hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which was common in infants of his size.

The child (who is now an adult) has an IQ of 50, according to school records. For comparison, a normal IQ is 100. It is highly unlikely that this individual will work or live independently. Genetic testing has thus far been normal.

The Result: Cognitive Deficits Due to Birth Trauma and Hypoglycemia

Our firm argued that the cognitive deficits in the child were caused by birth trauma and the hypoglycemia he suffered after birth. The hospital stated that if a birth injury is caused by trauma or hypoglycemia, cerebral palsy would be present as well. Given that the child does not have cerebral palsy, the hospital concluded that the cause of the deficits must be genetic. A hospital expert evaluated the child and stated that they believed the cognitive deficits of the child were mild, and that the individual was a “malingerer.”[KP1]

Initial evaluation placed the case valued at $500,000. ABC Law Centers: Birth Injury Lawyers secured $1 million in compensatory damages for this case.