A hospital and doctor have agreed to pay $12 million to settle a lawsuit filed by an Indiana mother whose baby sustained permanent brain damage during child birth in 2002.
The mother, K.C., on behalf of her daughter, filed the lawsuit in 2010 against Dr. Monique Jones and Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest. The plaintiff alleged that, when she went into labor, Jones acted negligently.
The lawsuit says Jones, who was the patient’s obstetrician, failed to recognize that the fetus was distressed. The doctor ordered or gave K.C. more Pitocin, a contraction-inducing drug. Increased contractions resulted in a loss of oxygen to the baby, and the baby suffered a permanent brain injury, according to the plaintiff’s suit.
Now age 9, the girl cannot walk, talk or see, according to the suit. She requires 24-hour supervised care.
Doctors typically increase Pitocin as labor progresses, but not if the fetus shows signs of distress. Attorneys for the plaintiff said the fetus was in distress and the doctor should have delivered the baby by cesarean section.
K.C. may use the money to buy a special van for transporting the girl and to build a house that accommodates the child’s needs. The money will help K.C. ensure that her daughter receives care throughout her life.
The parties reached the settlement after mediation with former Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Donald P. O’Connell. Advocate South Suburban Hospital agreed to pay $11 million, and Jones will pay $1 million.
John L. Kirkton, editor of the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter, said the $12 million settlement does not set any records but remains a significant amount.
Attorneys for the plaintiff said the doctor and hospital offered a “reasonable” settlement sufficient to cover most of the child’s medical expenses as she gets older.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois birth injury cases and Cook County medical malpractice matters for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, Tinley Park, Skokie, Calumet City, and Orland Park.
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