$23.9 Million Jury Verdict for Brain Injury to Newborn for Health Care Provider’s Failure to Properly Monitor During Labor and Delivery

Anna Scott was admitted to Jefferson Healthcare to deliver her first child. She was at first attached to a fetal heart monitor, which showed that her baby was healthy. She was then taken off the monitor for a six-hour period until her treating physician performed an artificial rupture of the membranes, after which Scott was then reattached to the fetal heart monitor.

The fetal heart monitor revealed that Scott’s baby had developed a worrisome heart rate pattern of repetitive variable decelerations with intermittent minimal variability.

Several hours later, Scott began to push. Her daughter, Lana, was born almost four hours later in a depressed condition with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck. Lana required 30 minutes of resuscitation. Lana’s Apgar scores were 3 at one minute and 4 at five minutes.

Lana was then transferred to another hospital where she developed seizures. Lana is now 6 years old. She has been diagnosed as having suffered a severe brain injury that resulted in cognitive deficits, speech and language impairment as well as motor skill issues. Lana walks unsteadily and cannot dress or feed herself.

Lana, through her guardian, Scott and Lana’s father, individually sued the hospital alleging that its health care providers chose not to properly monitor Lana during labor and delivery.

Although the hospital’s providers used a fetal monitoring device during the delivery, the Scott family argued that nevertheless they decided not to monitor frequently enough to detect that the fetal heart monitor tracings had been picking up Scott’s (the mother’s) heartbeat, not the baby’s. The fact that the fetal heart monitor was recording Scott’s heartbeat rather than the baby’s lasted for three hours of the labor.

Proper monitoring, the Scott family added, would have revealed that Lana was being deprived of oxygen by the fact that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck suppressing the flow of oxygen.

The jury signed a verdict in favor of Lana in the amount of $23.9 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case were Robert N. Gellatly, John E. Gagliardi and Deborah L. Martin.

Wolf v. GE Healthcare, No. 19-2-01745-18 (Wash. Super. Ct. Kitsap County, Dec. 20, 2019).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth trauma injury lawsuits, labor and delivery negligence cases, obstetrics negligence lawsuits, hospital negligence lawsuits, brain injury cases and nursing negligence lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Hickory Hills, Burr Ridge, Olympia Fields, Frankfort, Mokena, Tinley Park, Lansing, University Park, Crete, Beecher, Hinsdale, Downers Grove, Naperville, Bolingbrook, Lockport, Plainfield, Crystal Lake, Gurnee, Joliet, Waukegan, Des Plaines, Elgin, St. Charles, Chicago (Lakeview, North Center, Irving Park, Jefferson, Edison Park, West Ridge, West Rogers Park, Roscoe Village, Logan Square, Fulton River District, South Loop, Little Italy, Grand Boulevard, Oakland, Avalon Park, Calumet Heights, Washington Heights, Beverly, Archer Heights, West Lawn, Near West Side, River North, Fulton River District, Old Town), River Grove, Melrose Park, Forest Park, Oak Park and Elmwood Park, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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