In June 2023, Attorney David Skall and the Becker Law Firm secured justice for a 10-year-old boy who suffered life-altering consequences due to medical negligence.
A newborn boy, now 10 years old, suffered brain injury and cerebral palsy as the result of delayed delivery and oxygen deprivation at birth. As opposed to performing a timely / safe C-section, the lawsuit set forth that the attending obstetrician and nurse failed to appropriately respond to worsening fetal distress and used a vacuum extractor excessively in an improper effort to complete vaginal delivery.
Following a healthy pregnancy, the mother was admitted for induction of labor with Pitocin that caused the baby’s heart rate to progressively deteriorate over the next 12+ hours. This trend and signs of mild fetal infection suggested that the baby was becoming less tolerant of the stressors of labor, insufficiently oxygenated, and susceptible to injury. The providers failed to appreciate the risks of ongoing stress and, instead, continued toward vaginal delivery with use of a vacuum extractor as opposed to opting for C-section delivery. The vacuum was then applied as many as 8 times, “popped off” twice during 16 minutes of use, and it took an additional 18 minutes to deliver vaginally after the failed attempts with vacuum assistance.
By then it was too late. The increasing stress of the labor and trauma of the vacuum had caused the baby’s oxygen levels to become critically low. He was born severely depressed and required full resuscitation. He went on to suffer seizures in the days following delivery and radiology of his brain soon after showed the disabling structural damage that resulted from the severe, birth-related loss of oxygen.
The $4.55 million settlement not only brings just financial relief to the affected family, but also underscores the accountability of healthcare professionals to protect the well-being of both mothers and newborns during the birthing process.