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A.B., a minor v American Medical Response and U.S. Family Care Medical Center

Dr. Fagel obtained a settlement of $3,590,000 on behalf of a child who suffered brain damage as a result of injuries occurring during her birth process. Attorneys from the Office of Bruce G. Fagel & Associates were able to prove that the infant endured severe oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) as a direct result a negligent delivery involving unnecessary delays. When the plaintiff went into labor she called 911 to be transported to the nearest hospital. As nurses removed the patient from the ambulance at the hospital they noticed a large amount of blood in vaginal area. Over the next ten minutes the nurses had difficulty monitoring the fetus, and when they first obtained a fetal heart tracing they also noticed the plaintiff’s blood pressure was low. The on-call obstetrician, who was not in the hospital, was then called and told the patient was bleeding. When the obstetrician arrived, ten minutes after he was called, he diagnosed fetal distress on the monitor. Furthermore, at his arrival the CBC had not yet been obtained and the patient had not been moved into the delivery room, as requested. Eventually, the baby was delivered via C-section 47 minutes from the time the plaintiff arrived at the hospital and was diagnosed with severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. She was able to return home after 6 months with 20 hours of Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) care at home.

Had the paramedics identified the patient’s bleeding, which was the result of an acute placental abruption, and taken her to the closest hospital the baby could have been delivered by C-section within 30 minutes. The delivery also could have been achieved sooner had the nurses immediately called the obstetrician when the patient arrived at the hospital. The paramedics denied seeing any blood en route and the defendant hospital claimed that an earlier delivery would not have prevented injuries, but Dr. Fagel and his associates were able to show that the paramedics were indeed grossly negligent in their actions. The settlement included $2 million from the defendant hospital and $1.59 million from American Medical Response (representing the paramedics) to cover medical costs and both parents emotional distress.