$18.27 Million Jury Award in Failure to Comply with Standing Orders of Obstetrician

During Tristan Hamilton’s delivery, his mother was given Pitocin to induce labor. The treating obstetrician instructed attending nurses to give no more than 20 milli-units of Pitocin to allow only four contractions every ten minutes. The nurses did not follow those instructions.

Because of the excessive amount of Pitocin given (hyperstimulation) and numbing effect of the epidural, Tristan’s mother was unable to push, prompting the obstetrician to attempt a forceps delivery. The baby then became stuck in the birth canal and the physician completed the delivery using a vacuum extractor.

At birth, Tristan had Apgar scores that were one at one minute and three at five minutes. He suffered brain damage in the delayed delivery. He is now 8 years old and has severe motor dysfunction and is unable to walk or talk.

On his behalf, his mother brought this lawsuit against the hospital making claim that its nurses chose not to adhere to the obstetrician’s orders not to exceed 20 milli-units of Pitocin, resulting in uterine hyperstimulation. In addition, the lawsuit alleged that the nurses chose not to comply with the obstetrician’s order to turn off the epidural application so that Tristan’s mother would be able to push.

The plaintiff also charged that the nurses chose not to record bradycardia that occurred during the delivery.

The jury’s verdict of $18.27 million was later settled for $17.5 million. The attorneys representing Tristan and his mother were Tyler S. Thompson and Liz J. Shepherd.

Hamilton v. T.J. Samson Community Hospital, No. 11-CI00645 (Ky. Cir. Ct. Barren County, January 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth injury and birth trauma cases for individuals and families caused by the negligence of a medical provider, nurse or obstetrician for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Lemont, Summit, Brookfield, Franklin Park, Melrose Park, Elmhurst, Bensenville, Northlake, Norridge, Park Ridge, Lake Forest, Schaumburg, Kenilworth, Geneva, Fox River Grove, Evergreen Park, Cicero, Western Springs, Schaumburg, Round Lake Beach, Park Ridge and Oak Park, Ill.

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