$3 Million Settlement in Inadequate Response to Fetal Distress, Resulting in Brain Injury

Tammy Esquivel was admitted to Contra Costa Regional Medical Center to deliver her baby. During her 26-hour labor, her contraction pattern became abnormal. She experienced intense abdominal pain. The fetal monitor showed a prolonged severe deceleration, prompting nurses to reposition Esquivel and discontinue Pitocin.

A new deceleration occurred. A special response team was then summoned to the bedside. Approximately an hour later, Esquivel’s daughter was delivered by emergency cesarean section.

The baby was later diagnosed as having suffered severe hypoxic-ischemic brain damage. The baby is now three. She requires a feeding tube and suffers from seizures among other medical problems.

Esquivel, the baby’s father, and her guardian sued Contra Costa County, which employed the medical staff and operated the hospital. The lawsuit alleged inadequate response to fetal distress and negligent delivery.

The Esquivel family claimed that the defendants’ staff had chosen not to properly communicate signs of fetal distress and a placental abruption to Esquivel’s attending physician, and that the attending physician had in addition failed to note an arrest of labor.

The Esquivel family also maintained that Esquivel was initially taken to an operating room that was not sterile. This required that she be brought to another operating room, which further delayed the delivery of the baby.

The defendants argued that among other things, the fetal monitor tracings did not indicate a placental abruption.

Before a jury trial, the parties settled for $3 million.

The attorney successfully handling this tragic case for the Esquivel family was Michael E. Gotto.

Esquivel v. Contra Costa County, No. CIVMSC 19-00553 (Cal. Super. Ct. Contra Costa County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth injury lawsuits, brain injury lawsuits, hypoxic ischemic brain injuries, wrongful death lawsuits and medical negligence cases 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 45 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Brookfield, Cicero, Bedford Park, Burbank, Palos Heights, Crestwood, Forest Park, Blue Island, Midlothian, Tinley Park, Frankfort, New Lenox, Lemont, Long Grove, Park Ridge, South Barrington, Palatine, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Chicago (Pulaski Park, Norwood Park, Union Ridge, Logan Square, Roscoe Village, Albany Park, East Village, West Town, River West, Fulton Market, New East Side, River North, South Loop, Near West Side, Marshall Square, Bridgeport, Canaryville, North Lawndale), Cicero, Hinsdale, Villa Park, Geneva, North Aurora, Elburn, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Hawthorn Woods and Buffalo Grove, Ill.

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

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