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S.A., a minor v Kaiser

Dr. Fagel achieved a settlement of $3.5 million on behalf of a 3-year-old-girl who suffers numerous developmental delays as a result of an improperly managed birth process. At the age of 2 the minor plaintiff was able to walk using a walker but has demonstrated numerous delays in expressive communication and motor function.

Plaintiff Dalal Altamimi, age 32, arrived at the Kaiser Sacramento Hospital August 11, 2006 to deliver her third child, Raef Altamimi. Around 3:30 pm, the assigned L&D nurse left the patient in the room, leaving no one at the nurse's station to view the fetal monitor. When the nurse returned, she noted that the FMS showed a bradycardia. A c-section was immediately conducted and the child was delivered at 4:09pm. The child was diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, yet the exact cause of the bradycardia was unknown to the medical staff and not noted.

The child remained at the hospital until early November at which point a feeding gastronomy tube was placed within the minor plaintiff. Significant progress has been made since the child was discharged and likely the tube will be removed within a couple years. Nevertheless, the child suffers severe developmental delays, specifically in expressive communication.

After no explanation was discovered regarding the nursing staff's failure to note the bradycardia, Kasier admitted liability for the incident. The child will need attendant care for the rest of her life and has been given a normal life expectancy. Of the $3.5 million awarded in the arbitration, 94,000 will be allocated to cover past medical care. $511, 510 was allocated to offset future loss of earning, $2,608,348 for future care costs, $250,000 for non-economic damages and 130,000 was allocated to offset the emotional distress claimed by the minor plaintiff's parents.