Chicago Hospitals Pays 6 Million to Settle Birth Injury Lawsuit for Late Delivery of Child

A mother whose daughter was born mentally disabled and prone to seizures received $6 million in settlement from the University of Chicago Medical Center. Chicago birth injury lawsuit claimed that a Cesarean should have been ordered 35 minutes earlier and that because of the late delivery the child suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
The mother in this Illinois medical negligence case was admitted to the University of Chicago Medical Center to have labor induced. At her admission two tests were done that could not establish the fetal well-being. While labor was being induced the fetal heart rate was not showing accelerations even though it should. Over the next two hours the fetal heart rate steadily declined.
The plaintiffs argued that due to that heart rate trend a Cesarean section should have been ordered immediately. The doctors waited until the baby’s heart rate fell between 100 and 105 beats per minute to order an urgent Cesarean section surgery. The baby was delivered about 30 minutes from the time the procedure was ordered. That baby is now an adult and is mentally disabled.

The defendants contended that even though the fetal heart rate was non-reactive, a Cesarean wasn’t needed because the heart rate was in the normal range. The defendant further argued that the child’s brain injury occurred weeks earlier in the womb and that any alleged delay in the delivery had nothing to do with the child’s problems. Because that the child has not been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the defendant argued that the condition could not have been the result of an acute hypoxic event right before her birth.
The case was complicated by the fact that neither party had access to the fetal monitoring strips because the evidence was destroyed in a fire at the storage facility where the hospital stores its records. The statute of limitations had not begun to run because the child was mentally disabled; her mental disability was permanent.
Kreisman Law Offices has been practicing birth injury malpractice in Illinois for over 30 years, serving areas in and around Cook County such as Chicago, Elmhurst, Evanston, and Oak Park.