Delayed Delivery Caused Lifelong Brain Damage for Newborn

We represented a child who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a delayed delivery.

The case demonstrated multiple medical mistakes in delivery and obstetrical care that caused permanent injury. The child requires physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and frequent surgical interventions to help manage his pain and mobility. He was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy (CP) as a result of hypoxia during birth.

The family came to our firm for help following his diagnosis because of our reputation; we are well-known as a law firm with lawyers who aren't afraid to sue Kentucky hospitals for medical malpractice and general negligence. Our firm has successfully handled cases against the local hospitals in Louisville and Jefferson County that deliver babies, such as Norton's Suburban, Norton's Downtown, and the University of Louisville Hospital. We have also represented families of birth trauma victims against hospitals in counties throughout Kentucky.

Medical Negligence Caused an Otherwise Healthy Baby to Suffer Severe Brain Damage at Birth

Our client's experience began as a normal uneventful pregnancy. Ultrasounds and prenatal appointments showed a normally developing fetus. The mother progressed to 40 weeks and went into labor. She arrived at the hospital and was triaged in labor and delivery. She was taken to a room and a fetal heart monitor was placed. Initial tracings showed a reassuring pattern and normal heart rate.

After two hours, the mother was given Pitocin to speed up her contractions. After being administered the Pitocin, the fetal heart monitor began to show what is called late decelerations of the baby's heart rate. This is not a reassuring sign and typically indicates fetal distress, as the baby isn't receiving the necessary oxygen. If not corrected, the baby can suffer brain damage from a lack of oxygen. Even though these tracings continued for over 45 minutes, the nursing staff did not notify the doctor.

After nearly one hour of alarming heart monitor indications, a call was finally made to the doctor—but the only order was to decrease the Pitocin. The doctor did not come in to check on the patient. Pitocin was decreased, but the late decelerations continued. No one called to inform the doctor that this was occurring.

Baby Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy & Spastic Quad

The baby was finally delivered almost 90 minutes later. He suffered massive seizures at birth and was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). His Apgar score (a quick test of a newborn's health) at birth was recorded as high, despite his condition. This was never explained by the hospital. He was taken for an MRI which showed bleeding in the brain. He remained in the NICU for several weeks until he was released to go home. Prior to discharge he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia. He will require lifelong medical care.

We filed a lawsuit against the hospital and doctor alleging medical malpractice. We sought damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, destruction of power to labor and earn money, and money to pay for lifelong medical bills for the necessary medical care. After almost two years of litigation we reached a confidential settlement and were able to resolve the case.

Confidential Settlement

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law