Levin and Perconti recently announced in a press release on November 24, 2010 that its Chicago brain attorneys reached a $6.5 million settlement for a young girl who suffers from cerebral palsy following a brain injury sustained during birth.
The settlement was with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL and a physician who failed to timely perform a Cesarean section. Chicago attorneys John J. Perconti and Patricia L. Gifford of Levin & Perconti represented the injured child and her family.
During the mother’s pregnancy, doctors failed to diagnose cephalopelvic disproportion. Cephalopelvic disproportion occurs when a baby’s head or body is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis. Abnormal fetal positions often cause cephalopelivic disproportion, which is what occurred in this case. According to the American College of Nurse Midwives, cephalopelvic disproportion occurs in 1 out of 250 pregnancies.
Physicians further failed to order an emergency Cesarean section after noticing erratic decelerations on the fetal monitoring strips. These decelerations are typically a warning sign for fetal hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when the fetus is deprived of adequate oxygen.
During the emergency Cesarean section, the mother was not properly anesthetized and the staff had to hold the mother down during the procedure.
Although the newborn and mother survived the complicated birth, the newborn suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which means that inadequate oxygen caused damage to cells in the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. This damage can cause cerebral palsy.
The injured child is now 10 years old but has cerebral palsy and mental retardation from the complications of her birth. She suffers from motor delays and moderate cognitive deficiencies and will need to use a wheeled assistive device as she gets older. She will also need constant assistance with dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. The settlement will allow the child’s family to provide her with the ongoing care and medical treatment throughout her lifetime.