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Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

Failure to Timely Deliver Child and Provide Proper Resuscitation

Posted on Jun 16, 2010

The plaintiff child was born in July 1984. Amniotic fluid with heavy meconium staining had been observed seventeen hours prior to delivery and bradycardia was noted seven minutes prior to birth. When the infant was delivered, the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The plaintiff is confined to a wheelchair and is limited speech which is understood only by her and some close friends. She uses special equipment to help her synthesize speech and operates her wheelchair with the use of a joystick. She functions at a high intellectual level and had graduated from college. She participated in wheelchair soccer and swims with assistance of upper-arm flotation devices. The plaintiff claimed that the infant was deprived of oxygen for about twenty-seven minutes during and immediately after delivery and that the umbilical cord had been wrapped around her neck for about ten minutes prior to delivery. The plaintiff also claimed that proper resuscitative personnel did not arrive for fifteen minutes after delivery and the infant did not breathe independently for more than twenty minutes after birth. The plaintiff claimed that the neonatal nurse and physician's assistant should have been present when the delivery occurred. The defendants denied any negligence and contended that the injury was due to prior uterine assaults or a pneumonia infection the mother suffered several weeks prior to delivery. The delivering obstetrician, Dr. Fe Theresa McCarthy, reached a confidential settlement with the plaintiff prior to trial. According to a published account a $43.5 million verdict was returned.

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