Sommers and Schwartz attorneys Richard Groffsky, Matthew Turner, and Muskan Ali negotiated a $5.1 million birth trauma settlement for a catastrophically brain-damaged three-year-old girl.
The child’s mother presented to the defendant hospital in February 2020, and the records showed the baby was moving in utero with a 120-bpm heart rate and periods of moderate variability. At the mother’s initial assessment in triage, an obstetric resident recognized a non-reassuring fetal heart rate and noted minimal-moderate variability with multiple late decelerations.
After the attending physician (who was not at the hospital) was contacted, close fetal monitoring was ordered, but no one actually monitored the fetal heart tones for at least forty-four minutes. During that time, the baby was allowed to remain in an unsafe environment, which caused her to suffer severe neurological deficits, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, motor developmental delays, epilepsy, and vision impairment.
Only after continuous tracings were restarted and the attending physician arrived at the hospital was the decision made to perform an emergent C-section. By then, the baby’s heart rate was severely bradycardic. She was born with no heart rate and required immediate resuscitation
The defendants were professionally negligent in failing to recognize the urgency of the evolving situation. Specifically, they did not continuously and thoroughly monitor the mother and fetus while in the triage despite repetitive contractions, persistent and worsening non-reassuring fetal heart rate with ongoing pain, nor did they transfer the mother to labor and delivery with at least ten minutes of monitoring before the epidural placement or deliver the child by cesarean section earlier.
Had the defendants followed the accepted standard of care, the baby could have been delivered safely and with preserved neurologic status as soon as the persistent and worsening non-reassuring EFM were recognized. Today, because of their medical malpractice, the child suffers from severe disabilities and will require 24/7 attendant care for the rest of her life.
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