Illinois Jury Finds for Obstetrician in Birth Injury Lawsuit Claiming Cesarean Section Should Have Been Done

On July 8, 2003, Madison Drake was delivered by obstetrician Dr. Timothy Durkee at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, Ill. During the vaginal delivery of this newborn, a shoulder dystocia was encountered. Essentially that means that the baby’s shoulder was caught or stuck on the mother’s pubic bone. Dr. Durkee used the McRoberts maneuver with suprapubic pressure to finish the delivery of the baby.

Madison’s mother, Nicole Drake, consented to vaginal delivery, but claimed that she requested a C-section several times during her labor.

Madison suffered a left humerus fracture, brachial plexus injury, and a mild hypoxic brain injury that left baby Madison with cognitive deficits and executive function impairment. The brachial plexus injury would most likely have been caused by the effort to dislodge the baby’s shoulder that was stuck on the mother’s pubic bone.

Drake contended that Dr. Durkee should have offered her a C-section during labor when the delivery became difficult. If he had done that, the shoulder dystocia and the nerve damage to Madison’s arm would have been avoided. It was also claimed that the hospital’s nurses chose not to effectively communicate the mother’s condition and multiple requests for a C-section to Dr. Durkee.

The defendants denied negligence, maintaining there were no significant findings of distress on the fetal monitoring strips that would warn Dr. Durkee to reconsider a C-section delivery. The defendants also argued that the hospital’s nurses effectively communicated with Dr. Durkee and that Drake never withdrew her consent for a vaginal delivery. They also argued that there was no or only very mild impairment to Madison’s arm and there was no brain damage suffered by Madison as was claimed.

The jury agreed with the defendants’ position and found in their favor. At trial, counsel for the Drake family asked the jury to return a verdict of $4,200,000.

The Drake experts at trial included an obstetric nurse, a pediatric neurologist and a pediatric neuropsychologist.

At this jury trial, the defendants presented experts in maternal and fetal medicine, pediatric neurodevelopment, neonatology, a pediatric orthopedist, an obstetric nurse and a neuroradiologist.

Madison Drake, a minor v. Dr. Timothy J. Durkee, et al., No. 11 L 75 (Winnebago County, Ill.)

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling birth trauma injury lawsuits, shoulder dystocia injury lawsuits, brain injury cases and obstetric negligence cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Calumet City, Deerfield, Elmhurst, Evanston, Flossmoor, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lansing, Mundelein, Midlothian, Naperville, Chicago (Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Lincoln Square, Englewood, South Shore, UIC, DePaul University Area, Lincoln Park, Lakeview), Waukegan, Zion, Park Ridge and Richton Park, Ill.

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