Medical Malpractice is All We Do
You Deserve a Lawyer Who is Also a Medical Doctor
With Over $1.4 Billion Recovered For Our Clients

Barton v. Kern County, dba Kern Medical Center

Dr. Fagel and his associates obtained a verdict of over $4,780,000 on behalf of a now 2-year-old child who now suffers from cerebral palsy, mental retardation, spastic quadriparesis and seizures after contracting meningitis less than a week after his birth. The infant plaintiff was born healthy with normal amounts of feeding and was discharged 24 hours after his birth. Prior to discharge, the pediatrician examined the baby and noted a completely normal physical examination other than a bruised face. Also, before the discharge, a resident gave the mother a prescription for antibiotics to treat a possible urinary tract infection, without telling the pediatrician, based upon the results of a voided urine specimen prior to delivery the day before. However, the resident, nurse and pediatrician all testified that the mother’s prescription was immaterial because the urinalysis represented contamination. Based on protocol, the mother was to be given a follow up appointment, which must take place within 3-5 days, prior to her discharge. However, the nurse could not make an appointment because the computers were not working so she instructed the mother to make her own appointment. Two days later the mother called to make an appointment but was informed that the first available appointment was 1-2 weeks away, so she made an appointment with a local pediatrician at a sooner date. Three days later, the baby stopped feeding, developed a fever and then had a seizure while in the bath. The mother immediately brought the baby to an emergency room, where he was diagnosed with meningitis and placed on IV antibiotics. The infant’s condition continued to deteriorate and he was eventually placed on a ventilator. A CT scan later revealed multiple hemorrhages in his brain.   

The defendants contended that their actions were well within the standard of care because the baby was healthy at the time of discharge. They further contend that the mother never had a urinary tract infection, as the urine specimen was voided because it was contaminated with normal vaginal bacteria; therefore, there was no indication to give more antibiotics to the mother or infant. The defendants also claim that even if the infant had been seen for a follow-up within 3-5 days, there would not have been sufficient evidence for diagnosis or treatment of meningitis because the baby did not develop symptoms until the day he was admitted to the emergency room; it was argued that the baby had a very violent strain of E. Coli which rapidly progressed in a single day and could not have been diagnosed earlier.

Dr. Fagel and his associates were able to prove that the defendant pediatrician and nurse were negligent in discharging the infant and should not have discharged him without giving the mother a specific follow-up appointment. Furthermore, the attorneys at the Office of Bruce G. Fagel and Associates were able to prove that, had the mother received an earlier follow-up appointment, there would have been sufficient evidence for diagnosis of the infant’s infection, allowing for antibiotic treatment which could have prevented the meningitis and brain damage. The approximate $4.78 million awarded will offset the total cost of past and future medical care for the next 15 years, in addition to compensating for projected loss of earnings.