$1.7 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement in Wrongful Death of Baby – Macon County's Largest

June 23, 2004

Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., announced today that a $1.7 million settlement was reached on behalf of the estate of a child whose wrongful death was the result of medical malpractice rendered during his birth.

On September 9, 1998, labor and delivery nurses failed to recognize fetal distress and notify physicians to intervene. Immediately after birth, and unable to breathe on his own, the baby was denied oxygen for 3-5 minutes before an oxygen mask was rushed into the birthing room. The baby developed severe spastic cerebral palsy before succumbing to his neurological injuries.

During the early phases of the legal case, the hospital and its employees denied the events surrounding this medical malpractice case had been the subject of a mortality and morbidity study by the hospital, and denied the existence of any written incident report relating to the occurrence. The hospital claimed, and its employees testified, that an oxygen mask was present and immediately available for use in the resuscitation of the baby. During the deposition of the delivering obstetrician, who was not named as a party in the lawsuit, the existence of a written incident report was confirmed, as was the fact the case had been the subject of a mortality and morbidity study by the hospital. The hospital then produced the written incident report which stated: "upon delivery, the infant was very flaccid and required aggressive resuscitation. A mask was not available for the Ambu bag. This delayed ventilation by 3-5 minutes".

The lead medical malpractice attorney representing the child's estate, explained: "The hospital failed this baby on a number of levels. First, the nurses failed to recognize fetal distress and failed to take appropriate action by following the hospital's standard of care and protocols. Secondly, an oxygen mask, which should be a standard piece of equipment in any birthing room, was missing at the time of this baby's birth, resulting in delayed resuscitation. Sadly, it seemed the hospital made efforts to conceal the true facts of this case, by inaccurate responses to written questions and production requests, by the sworn testimony of their delivery room nurses and the failure by the hospital to turn over the written incident report." He concluded: "This settlement certainly cannot replace the extraordinary suffering of this child and the heartbreak forced upon his parents. However, it is sizable justice in a case involving lies and deceit by the very medical system entrusted with the care of a mother and her baby."

Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The personal injury attorneys at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., have achieved multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals with lawsuits arising from medical malpractice, product liability, semitruck and motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries and construction accidents in Illinois and Wisconsin. Rapoport Law Offices, P.C.'s premier aviation negligence lawyers represent victims of commercial and general aviation disasters nationwide.

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