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D.C., a minor v Anonymous Medical Center

Dr. Fagel obtained a settlement of $1,950,000 on behalf of a child who suffers cerebral palsy and developmental delays due to negligent delivery. During labor, the fetal monitor displayed heart decelerations. The nurses prepared for a cesarean section while awaiting the arrival of the defendant obstetrician. When the obstetrician arrived he decided to delay the C-section and continue using Pitocin to aid the delivery and started an amniofusion to halt fetal heart rate decline. Complications continued and the obstetrician decided to perform a vacuum delivery. The plaintiff was born with low Apgar scores and developed seizures shortly thereafter. A later CT scan revealed edema and basal ganglia damage.

The defendant contended that he made proper judgment to continue with labor and then quickly delivered the baby via vacuum. He also argued that the baby’s condition at birth indicated that the plaintiff’s neurologic injuries occurred prior to the onset of labor. However, Dr. Fagel proved that the plaintiff’s brain injuries could have been prevented had the defendant properly reacted to the disconcerting fetal monitor tracings and performed a C-section to deliver the infant sooner.