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$6,740,000 Total Value of Recovery In 19-Year-Old Cerebral Palsy Case

Daryl L. Zaslow of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP (Edison, Red Bank and Toms River), obtained a $4.15 million settlement on behalf of a 19-year-old who sustained hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy at birth. A portion of the settlement is being used to purchase annuities, which will result in total payments to the Plaintiffs of at least $4,977,275 making the total value of the settlement over $6,274,000.

The facts which gave rise to the lawsuit occurred nearly 20 years ago. The pregnant patient arrived at the Labor and Delivery Department of the Defendant Hospital on November 10, 1993 at approximately 12:30 p.m. Pursuant to the hospital’s policies and procedures, she was hooked up to fetal monitoring, however, no baseline fetal heart rate was recorded in the records. Although the parties vociferously dispute exactly what happened next, Plaintiffs testified that at approximately 1 p.m. they were told by a nurse they could leave the hospital and Defendants contend that patient removed herself from the fetal heart monitoring and essentially left the hospital against medical advice (“AMA”).

Plaintiffs returned to the Hospital at approximately 4 p.m. where they were seen by the Defendant obstetrician, who was Plaintiff’s treating obstetrician. Plaintiffs‘ experts maintained that over the course of the next several hours the defendant obstetrician failed to appreciate evidence of a hostile uterine environment and fetal distress on the electronic fetal monitoring which should have prompted him to order an emergency cesarean section earlier than he did. Tragically, a cesarean section was not performed until 6:06 p.m., at which time Plaintiff was born with significant problems. Plaintiffs= experts opined that the delay in calling for an emergency cesarean section resulted in the infant sustaining an acute asphyxic event in the minutes before his birth which left him with significant brain damage.

The Plaintiffs’ experts were also critical of the labor and delivery nurse who they allege was responsible for prematurely discharging Plaintiffs from the hospital when they first presented to the hospital at 12:30 p.m.