K. N., a minor v Kaiser
Dr. Fagel obtained a settlement of $4.1 million on behalf of a child who now suffers severe cerebral palsy after doctors failed to recognize
intra-uterine growth retardation and perform a timely delivery. Throughout the month prior to delivery, examinations confirmed that the mother’s fundal height was shorter than normal but no precautions were taken. When the mother was finally admitted to the labor and delivery unit, a fetal monitor showed an abnormal heart rate so a Cesarean section was ordered. One hour and ten minutes after being admitted to the L&D unit, the minor plaintiff was delivered via C-section with low vital signs. About two months later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to lack of blood or oxygen to the brain during the delivery process.
Despite the defendants’ claims that all treatment was within the standard of care, Dr. Fagel and his associates proved that the plaintiff’s brain injuries could and should have been prevented. The defendant physicians failed to recognize and diagnose the intra-uterine growth retardation that was revealed by earlier tests, which requires earlier delivery for a more normal outcome. If the defendants had properly interpreted the fundal height measurements that were recorded throughout the month prior to delivery, proper action could have been taken and the plaintiff’s injuries would have been avoided.