Settlement for Newborn’s Brain Damage Is $4 Million in Rhode Island

2010 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Contends Baby’s Brain Damage Due to Negligence in Newborn Nursery

The minor plaintiff was born on 9/8/05 in a Rhode Island hospital. He was a healthy, normal baby. He had some difficulty latching on for breast feeding, so a hospital pediatrician ordered that his breastfeeding attempts be supplemented with formula. That order was not followed by the nurses, and the baby became hypoglycemic with a critically low glucose level of 5. Head studies showed brain damage due to hypoglycemia. Today, the boy is 5 years old and suffers from vision problems, a tactile sensory disorder, and developmental delays.

The plaintiff contended that the maternity nurses caring for the baby breached the standard of care when they failed to appreciate the baby’s increased risk for hypoglycemia despite his marginally low birth weight as well as an episode of “jittery” behavior, his difficulty maintaining his body temperature after birth, his difficulty in latching on for breastfeeding, and his poor oral intake; when they failed to obtain frequent blood glucose levels on the baby; and when they failed to supplement feedings for the baby. The plaintiff claimed these violations of the standard of care resulted in hypoglycemia which has caused permanent neurological injuries and impairments.

The defendants contended that the boy’s injuries are limited and that he has progressed remarkably well. He is in kindergarten, walks and talks, and is meeting many of his milestones.

The case settled a month before trial for $4,000,000.

Lawyer for the plaintiff: William J. Thompson, Lubin & Meyer, P.C.

Rhode Island Court: Washington County Superior Court

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