Dr. Fagel obtained a $49,000,000 verdict on the behalf of a young girl who suffers severe brain damage as a result of preventable injuries sustained during the birth process. The pregnancy, labor and delivery progressed as normal until the fetal heart tracing began to show an abnormal fetal heart rate. However, nurses employed by the defendant hospital did not take proper action, such as adjusting the mother’s position and administering medications, to alleviate the fetal intolerance to labor. As such, the baby experienced a prolonged period of oxygen deprivation and fetal distress continued to gradually worsen. The baby was eventually delivered with dangerously low respiration and heart rates, but the nurses then waited for another 35 minutes after her birth before summoning a neonatologist to treat the infant’s grave condition. As a result of her injuries, the young girl now suffers from cerebral palsy and is severely mentally retarded. She will likely never walk and will require attendant care for all her life.
Prior to the civil trial, the obstetrician settled with the family for $956,000. However, Dr. Fagel was still able to prove that the hospital nurses were equally negligent, not only during labor and delivery, but also immediately after the child’s birth, and were therefore responsible for the minor plaintiff’s debilitating injuries. Had the nurses acted within the standard of care and treated the complications in the birth process, the minor plaintiff’s injuries could have been prevented. Furthermore, had the nurses contacted the neonatologist in a timely fashion following delivery, the outcome may not have been completely normal, but would have been substantially improved.