$2.1 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement over Claims of Delayed Newborn Testing and Diagnosis
Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew Curtis and Richard Groffsky secured a $2.1 million settlement in a medical malpractice case filed in Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court involving claims against a defendant hospital and defendant neonatologist. The minor plaintiff was born after a normal labor and delivery. Because of his prematurity, he was sent to the NICU, where he was on oxygen for a short period of time. Feedings were withheld for a couple of days, and then gradually instituted over the ensuing week. Once he started feeding on day two of life, the standard of care required that the routine newborn screening mandated by state law be performed. However, the plaintiffs alleged that there was a delay in testing for and diagnosing a congenital enzyme abnormality (galactosemia) in the newborn on the sixth day of life, which resulted in brain defects on the eighth day. The lawsuit alleged that the newborn did not deteriorate until the seventh day of life, but had the screening been done within the first 24-48 hours of life, an earlier diagnosis would have occurred. It also was contended that, if a change to soy-based formula would have happened on day four, his injury would have been avoided.