The United States will pay $5 million in a settlement to resolve a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that physicians at a Florida naval hospital chose not to order a cesarean section despite signs and symptoms of fetal distress. As it turned out, the fetal distress caused the baby’s permanent brain damage.
Jenifer and Sean Mochocki, a U.S. Air Force officer, reached a settlement with the federal government in this Federal Tort Claims Act case and asked the federal district court judge to approve the settlement and the medical malpractice lawsuit. The suit alleged that three Naval Hospital Jacksonville physicians chose not to order a cesarean section procedure in the face of adverse fetal heart tracing, which resulted in the Mochocki baby’s hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which is a permanent brain injury related to oxygen deprivation.
The settlement is partially structured in that the Mochocki family will receive $1,590,000 and approximately $3 million will be used to purchase an annuity that will allow for monthly payments of approximately $7,600 for the baby’s life. An additional payment of $4,500 will be made per month when the child reaches the age of 18 until the end of life.
The federal government agreed to pay Jenifer Mochocki four annual payments of approximately $35,000 starting in 2034 while Sean Mochocki will receive $129,000 in 2033.
In addition, the Mochocki family requested that the federal judge approve the payment of attorney fees of no more than 25% of the settlement amount along with costs advanced in prosecuting this case, which totaled about $148,000.
The lawsuit was originally filed in March 2015 alleging that three doctors at the naval hospital were negligent in the care given to Jenifer Mochocki in connection with the delivery of her baby in October 2012. The complaint alleged that the baby’s vital signs initially were normal but that an hour later there were obvious signs of “fetal decline.” One of three doctors involved wrote a note in the Mochocki chart that a C-section should be ordered if certain fetal vital signs remained ominous.
In the lawsuit, it was alleged that a C-section should have been ordered immediately. Even with signs of fetal distress, Jenifer Mochocki was untreated for 90 minutes. The baby was then vaginally delivered and diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and several other birth-related issues.
The Mochocki family was represented by Sean D. Cronin, Gregory H. Maxwell and Michael V. Nakamura.
It was reported that the way this settlement was structured that it may produce as much as $5 million for the benefit of the Mochocki child who is in need of a great deal of medical care and assistance for life.
Mochocki, et al. v. United States, No. 3:15-cv-00377, United States District for the Middle District of Florida.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling birth trauma injury cases, cerebral palsy injury lawsuits, brain injury lawsuits and labor and delivery negligence lawsuits for individuals and families 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 Glenview, Park Ridge, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Itasca, Wood Dale, Countryside, Western Springs, Darien, Lemont, Markham, Lincolnwood, LaGrange Park, Cicero, Country Club Hills, Burr Ridge, Brookfield, Broadview, Blue Island, Hinsdale, Westchester, Tinley Park, Chicago (Archer Heights, Marquette Park, Gresham, Washington Heights, Riverdale, Pullman, Back of the Yards, Little Village), Lincolnshire, Skokie and Glencoe, Ill.
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