Brain-Damaged Man Gets $6.4 Million In Medical Malpractice Case


Posted on 12th July 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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In what is one of the largest medical malpractice awards ever in the state, a Missouri jury has awarded $6.4 million to a married couple over a stroke the husband suffered in 2007, according to the St. Louis-Post Dispatch. He sustained brain damage.

A St. Louis County jury awarded the sum to Jeffrey Schneider and his wife Connie, who alleged in their suit that he had a stroke after getting an infection that should have been detected and treated, the newspaper reported. The medical malpractice suit had named Dr. Joseph Thompson of SSM DePAul Medical Group as a defendant.

Schneider had been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse by Thompson in 1996, the suit said. That is a condition where the heart valve doesn’t fully close, allowing blood to flow backward into it. But Thompson never referred Schneider to a cardiologist, according to the Post-Dispatch, and really never did anything about the condition.

That led to trouble in April 2007, when Schneider fell ill with fatigue and abdominal pains, the Post-Dispatch reported. Thompson had Schneider go for some tests, but not to a cardiologist for tests on his heart.

A month later, Schneider had an acute stroke caused by a bacterial infection on his heart valve, according to the Post-Dispatch. As a result of the stroke, he suffered brain damage and has problems with his short-term memory, trouble processing words and paralysis on his right side. He hasn’t been able to work since the stroke.



N.Y. Jury Awards $130 Million For Cerebral Palsy Malpractice


Posted on 18th April 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The family of Shannon Reilly, who during her birth sustained severe brain damage and now has cerebral palsy, were smart to heed their lawyer’s advice. And they are $122 million richer, money that will go toward their daughter’s care.

A New York jury has awarded the family $130 million in the medical malpractice lawsuit, which the New York Daily News called the second largest malpractice verdict in the state’s history.

Danni and Frank Reilly of Long Island had filed suit against St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, L.I., over what they alleged was Shannon’s botched birth in 2002, according to the News and the New York Post.  The girl, who is now 10, can’t walk or talk, and needs constant care.

The hospital had offered the Reilly family $8 million in 2009 to settle the lawsuit. But lawyer Thomas Moore told the family not to accept that sum, maintaining that Shannon’s care over the term of her life would cost a lot more than $8 million.

The suit alleged that hospital staff didn’t notice Shannon wasn’t getting enough oxygen at her birth, that she wasn’t properly monitored.

It was a long path for the family to get to the $130 million judgment. The case went to trial, and the jury cleared the hospital of any liability, the News and Post said. Moore went to an appellate court, which ruled that there should be another trial on the case.

The second trial, which took place last year, ended with a hung jury.

The third trial, in Suffolk County Superior Court, ended earlier this week with the $130 million verdict.

Amazingly, Moore told the News that during his career there were 34 times when he advised clients not to take settlements of $8 million or more. And in each of those cases, he either got a verdict or settlement over $8 million, according to the News.

Doctors’ Brawl Leads To Botched Birth In Italy


Posted on 31st August 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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I don’t know what the medical malpractice laws are in Italy, but if this family doesn’t have legal recourse, it’s a crime.

In Messina, Sicily, a mother had to have her uterus removed and her newborn sustained possible brain damage and heart problems after her two doctors got into a fist fight during the baby’s delivery last Thursday.

 The incident at Messina’s public hospital was such a disgrace and embarrassment that Italy’s health minister, Ferruccio Fazio, trekked to Sicily to apologize to Laura Salpietro, 30.  

Her husband Matteo Molonia told officials that her two physicians disagreed about whether Salpietro should have a Caesarean section, and fists flew while the woman was in labor. One doctor grabbed the other by the neck and banged him into a wall, while the other doctor punched a window and hurt his hand, according to BBC News. 

The fistfight wound up delaying the C-section for about an hour, which lead to the problems for Salpietro and her son Antonio.

Physician, first do no harm. Why can’t some of them remember that?

Brain-Injured Wisconsin Boy And His Mother Win $23.3 Million In Medical Malpractice Case


Posted on 29th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Wisconsin jury has awarded $23.3 million in a medical malpractice case involving a boy who suffered brain damage, and now has cerebral palsy, after a doctor delivered him with forceps five years ago, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Milwaukee County jury rendered the verdict last Thursday against Dr. Donald Baccus and the Injury Patients and Families Compensation Fund on behalf of plaintiffs Laron Birmingham, 5 years old, and his mother Kishia Lee. But the panel cleared St. Joseph Regional Medical Center of any negligence in the case.

Baccus’s attorney told the Journal Sentinel that he plans to appeal the verdict.

During the trial, which began May 10, the plaintiffs argued that because Lee had prolonged labor and was having other problems in May 2005, Baccus should have performed a Cesarian section delivery.

Baccus didn’t do the C-section, but instead had a medical resident deliver Yaron using forceps, and that instrument injured the newborn’s brain.

As a result of that brain damage, Laron had cerebral palsy, and will never be able to live on his own or get a job, according to testimony at the trial.

The award will compensate Laron for his past and future medical bills; his pain A Wisconsin jury has awarded $23.3 million in a medical malpractice case involving a boy who suffered brain damage, and now has cerebral palsy, after a doctor delivered him with forceps five years ago, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Low Umbilical Cord pH Levels Linked To Brain Damage, Cerebral Palsy In Newborns


Posted on 18th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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New research has found that babies who are born with high acidity in their umbilical cords appear to be at a higher risk for cerebral palsy, brain damage and infant death.

The study’s findings, out of research done at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital in England, were reported online by the journal BMJ. 

 When a baby doesn’t receive adequate oxygen during delivery, its umbilical cord blood pH declines. This condition, called hypoxia, is the most common cause of brain damage, mainly among premature and very tiny babies, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. But there had not been any direct connection established between a low pH reading in umbilical cord blood and complications like brain damage.

For this research, Dr. Gemma Malin combed through and combined the results of 51 studies regarding low-umbilical cord pH, studies that covered nearly 500,000 children. The results of the studies were similar despite the wide variety of ways they were conducted, namely that there was a consistent and strong link between pH levels and infant death, cerebral palsy and brain damage.

An editorial was published along with the study in the BMJ, and it urged careful surveillance of infants that have low umbilical cord pH.  

“Malin and colleagues’ systematic review of observational data suggests that a strong association exists between low umbilical artery pH at birth and major adverse outcomes including death, hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (usually manifesting as neonatal seizures), potentially serious brain abnormalities identified by imaging (periventricular leucomalacia or intraventricular haemorrhage), and cerebral palsy,” the editorial said.

 “Ultimately, given the findings of this study, we should aim to reduce the number of babies born with a low cord pH, without increasing unnecessary obstetric intervention. Hopefully this can be achieved by more hands-on input to labour ward care by fully trained obstetric specialists for some time have thought that acidity of the blood was linked to potential problems with newborns, but only the new study found a definitive connection between pH levels and adverse conditions such as brain damage.”


Los Angeles Hospital On Trial For Lawsuit Over Consent For Infant’s Operation


Posted on 13th April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Tujunga man is suing Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, alleging that his 6-month-old son was brain-damaged after undergoing double hernia surgery that the father never consented to.,0,6085749.story

 The suit, which seeks $19 million, was brought by Eduardo Rivas, 43, against the hospital and two physicians. The case is being tried now in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where Rivas testified last week that he never signed a consent form the surgery performed on his infant son, according to The Los Angeles Times.

 Rivas’s son Nathan was born four months premature. The infant had been transferred to Children’s Hospital from Glendale Memorial Hospital, and Rivas got a call from a doctor and a Spanish-speaking social worker that Nathan had to have surgery.

 Through an interpreter Rivas, a roofing inspector, told the jury that the social worker had assured him the surgery was minor and that the only risk was a minor infection.

 Rivas, whose wife died shortly after Nathan’s birth, testified that he did not give his consent. But the next day, Nov. 16, 2007, the surgery was performed on Nathan.

 Children’s Hospital maintains that Rivas gave verbal approval for the surgery. But the hospital was unable to later find any records that proved that Rivas had given his approval, according to The Times. The consent form for the surgery had the name of Nathan’s doctor and a nurse, but not that of Rivas.

 Following his operation Nathan, who had a breathing tube when he came to Children’s Memorial, became  dependent on a ventilator and feeding tube.

 Rivas charges that his son’s condition was the result of his son’s reaction to anesthesia. The hospital blames Nathan’s medical woes on the fact that he was born premature, and had neurological problems.

 If Rivas wins his lawsuit Medi-Cal, the state insurer, will have to be reimbursed for the $913,000 it has already paid for Nathan’s care.    



Xenon Used To Ward Off Brain Damage In English Newborn


Posted on 9th April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Turning to an experimental treatment, doctors in Great Britain used xenon, an inert gas, to prevent brain injury in a baby born in serious condition.

In fact, newborn Riley Joyce was the first baby in the world to get the xenon gas treatment, which was developed by Marianne Thoreson, a University of Bristol professor of neonatal neuroscience, and Dr. John Dingley, a consultant anaesthetist at Swansea University’s School of Medicine.

When Riley was delivered by an emergency Caesarean section at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, England, he didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing. With his odds of sustaining permanent brain damage considered 50-50, his parents agreed to have him sent to St. Michael’s Hospital in Bristol for the experimental treatment.

 Within a week, Riley was eating and alert.

 The xenon was used to help cool Riley’s brain so he wouldn’t suffer permanent brain damage. Xenon can double the effect of cooling the brain, according to research.

 In the United Kingdom, more than 1,000 babies born at full term die or sustain brain trauma because of a lack of oxygen or blood supply at birth.

  Xenon will be tried on at least 12 babies before researchers start a bigger trial.