A recent Cook County jury awarded a positive verdict to a 20 year-old man for severe brain damage that he sustained as a result of a Cook County birth injury. Given that a plaintiff has 8 years from the date of injury to file an Illinois birth injury claim, typically we see these lawsuits filed and settled well before the injured child reaches adulthood.
And while the age of the injured child at the time of the Cook County verdict might be unusual for a Cook County birth injury lawsuit, the case facts are fairly typical of an Illinois birth injury.
The Illinois birth injury lawsuit was brought by the plaintiff’s mother, who claimed that her son was born with severe brain damage as a result of negligence on behalf of Cook County Hospital. The plaintiff’s defense rested on claims that a delay on behalf of the hospital staff in delivering the baby was the cause of his subsequent brain damage.
In January 1990, the mother arrived at Cook County hospital’s emergency department with labor pains. According to the plaintiff’s theory of liability, a labor and delivery resident physician at the hospital ruptured the mother’s membranes, but also caused an entrapment of the umbilical cord that deprived the baby of oxygen and blood flow.
At that time, an emergency Cesearean section should have been performed. However, according to the lawsuits filed in Cook County, the hospital staff failed to react for over 40 minutes, which does not qualify for an ’emergent’ C-section.
The plaintiffs argued at trial that the hospital had themselves created the birth emergency by performing what the plaintiffs deemed an unnecessary break of the mother’s membranes. Furthermore, the hospital then failed to assess the situation in a timely manner and respond with the necessary emergent C-section to ensure there was no brain damage to the child.
The defense countered that the amniotomy the resident performed was not only necessary but was done appropriately. The defense further argued that the child’s birth injury was not the result of a lack of oxygen.
However, the jury sided with the plaintiff and awarded the now-20 year-old plaintiff damages for the brain damage sustained as a result of his birth injury. And as we see with so many Illinois birth injury cases, a delay in delivery resulted in permanent brain injuries to a child.
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Negligent Cook County Delivery Results in Brain Damage to the Child