$23 Million Judgment for Brain Damage to Infant with Cerebral Palsy Caused by Delayed Blood Transfusion

Rebecca Kerrins, the mother of now 5-year-old Drew Kerrins, sued Palos Community Hospital, Dr. Thomas Myers and Renaissance Medical Group alleging that Dr. Myers chose not to make himself available to take care of Drew’s emergency soon after the baby was delivered.

After a bench trial, a Cook County judge entered a judgment for more than $23 million to the family of Drew Kerrins because of the delay in providing a blood transfusion, which led to the child’s development of cerebral palsy and other cognitive injuries.

Rebecca Kerrins was admitted to Palos Community Hospital to deliver her baby in June 2011. Unfortunately, her placenta separated from her uterine wall at the time of delivery, which caused the baby to lose as much as half of her blood by the time she was delivered.

Baby Drew required a blood transfusion as soon as she was born. This condition prompted the hospital staff to page and call Dr. Myers, the hospital’s on-call neonatologist.

According to the report of this case, Palos Community Hospital staff called Dr. Myers’s phone twelve times in a period of 52 minutes. Dr. Myers had finished taking care of babies in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit and was headed home at the time these calls and pages were coming in.

“Unfortunately, for the first time and only time in 41 years, he (Dr. Myers) left his cellphone and pager at the hospital when he changed his clothes, so for the 10-20 minutes that he was driving home, he couldn’t be reached,” according to a lawyer who represented the doctor.

Dr. Myers’s associate came to the hospital shortly thereafter and took care of Drew, although it was unfortunately too late. More than one hour had passed since the first effort to reach Dr. Myers.

According to the Kerrins’s family attorney, James Ball of The Ball Law Group, the total time from when Drew Kerrins bled out to the time she was fully transfused was more than three hours. Because of the long delay, the lawsuit alleged that Drew Kerrins now suffers from cerebral palsy, epilepsy and global developmental delays, among other injuries. She requires round-the-clock assistance and will need such assistance for daily living for the rest of her life.

There were several attempts to settle the case by mediation before the matter was handled as a bench trial after the case was transferred from the jury trial calendar. The presiding Cook County judge entered a judgment in the amount of $2 million against Dr. Myers and his medical group and $20 million against Palos Community Hospital under the apparent agency theory. In addition, there was $1,138,379 as part of the judgment for the family expense count of the complaint.

Drew Kerrins and his family were excellently represented by James Ball.

Drew Kerrins v. Palos Community Hospital, et al., No. 14 L 4914 (Cook County, Ill.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling hospital negligence cases, birth trauma injury cases, cerebral palsy injury cases, traumatic brain injury cases and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or died as a result of the negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Deerfield, Glenview, Glencoe, Dixmoor, Niles, Skokie, Wilmette, Evanston, Rosemont, Richton Park, Chicago (Andersonville, Jefferson Park, Rogers Park, Albany Park, Bronzeville, Hyde Park, Kenwood), Elmwood Park, Arlington Heights and Orland Park, Ill.

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