$12.8M Verdict for Brain Injury to Newborn in Massachusetts

2016 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Delay of immediate intervention in special care nursery results in devastating brain injury in newborn

On 7/8/09 at approximately 7:49 a.m., the minor plaintiff’s mother presented to Salem Hospital for her scheduled cesarean section. The minor plaintiff was born at 11:12 am with Apgar Scores of 4, 8, and 9. At birth the minor plaintiff required supplemental oxygen and was admitted to the special care nursery at 11:30 am, under the care of Dr. Nathe and Nurse Rakip. The plan initially was to rule out meconium aspiration but it was quickly determined that he had most likely suffered a bleed in utero. It was ultimately found that he had lost almost half his total blood volume and was in need to emergent resuscitation.

Upon arrival to the special care nursery, it was noted that his oxygen saturation levels were dangerously low but he was not intubated for almost 45 minutes. It was further shown that his glucose levels were extremely abnormal but the defendants did not correct the glucose for several hours. Finally, the minor plaintiff was in need of emergent blood transfusions but he did not receive blood for almost 4 hours.

At 4:30 pm, the minor plaintiff was transferred to another facility where he remained intubated for weeks. An MRI done of his brain showed that the minor plaintiff suffered a massive brain injury due to lack of oxygen and blood flow. At the time of trial, the minor plaintiff was 6 years-old.  He is unable to walk or talk and requires constant care and supervision.  He is dependent on others for all of his daily activities.

The plaintiffs presented expert medical testimony at trial that the minor plaintiff was born with a serious bleeding condition that required immediate and aggressive resuscitation by the defendants. It was the expert’s opinion that the minor plaintiff would have avoided his brain injury if he had been intubated and given glucose and blood immediately upon arrival to the special care nursery. In the expert’s opinion, the delays in delivering this care were the cause of the minor plaintiff suffering his devastating brain injury.

They jury deliberated for almost 20 hours over 4 days before awarding the minor plaintiff and his parents $12,800,000. The award included damages for past pain and suffering, lost wages and future care needs.

Essex Superior Court:
Lubin & Meyer attorney for the plaintiff Robert Higgins submitted this trial report.

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