Settlement gives Family of Girl Disabled by Birth Injury $11 Million


Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois settled with the family of a young girl injured at birth for $11 million. The child, now four-years-old, can’t walk, speak, or eat. The payout is to ensure that the girl has the care needed to deal with her severe cerebral palsy.

In February 2005, just before the birth date of her second child who was to be delivered via planned Caesarean section, the 38-year-old mother called her doctor complaining that she didn’t feel right. Her doctor sent her to the hospital to have blood drawn for tests.

While at the hospital, the woman’s water broke and the resident and assistant physician prepared her for labor by giving her Pitocin. Pitocin is used to speed up or induce labor. It is a controversial birth drug in that it can decrease uterine blood flow, which will decrease oxygen to the baby. Fetal distress is a problem with Pitocin.

The woman twice told the doctors she was supposed to have a C-section over fears of a ruptured uterus, but they prepped her for a vaginal birth anyway. The baby’s heart rate fell on several occasions over the evening and the doctors told her to begin pushing. However, the doctors changed their minds and opted to deliver by C-section.

As a result, the young girl suffered serious birth injuries and the mother’s uterus was ruptured. She has been told that she cannot have any more children due to the extent of the damage.

Though this seems like it would be enough for any jury to award the family, the hospital issued a statement claiming it believes its physicians acted responsibly. They state they decided to settle due to “the absence of tort reform and challenging legal climate in Cook County.

Meanwhile, the mother had to explain to her older child that even though they got all that money, it would not help the girl’s sister.