Category Archives for "Settlements"

2 Settlement Reached in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

A settlement agreement was reached in a cerebral palsy lawsuit right as the jury was deliberating a verdict after an intense four-week trial. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but medical attorneys for the young boy at the center of the case and his family said that the dispute has been “resolved.”

The case involved the birth of Leondo Stanziano, who was born on December 11, 2000 at an Ohio hospital. His mother, Renetha, was considered a high risk VBAC patient. VBAC means vaginal birth after Caesarian, and women who fall into this category are at risk for a ruptured uterus.

According to the lawsuit filed by the family, the hospital staff failed to properly monitor Renetha’s labor and caused her uterus to rupture by giving her too much Pitocin (a drug used to induce labor). The complaint stated that the baby went without oxygen for about 18 to 20 minutes after the uterine rupture and this caused him to suffer severe brain damage and cerebral palsy.

As a result of his injuries, the boy requires a feeding tube and round-the-clock care, is unable to speak, and will never be able to work. The settlement money will help to provide for his care.


6 $4 Million Awarded in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

Last week, a Frederick County jury found two doctors responsible for Ryan Dineen’s cerebral palsy and awarded the boy and his mother, Suzette Dineen, $4 million in damages. The award is thought to be the highest awarded for medical malpractice in the county.

According to the cerebral palsy lawsuit, Ryan’s mother had arrived at the hospital shortly after 5:00 a.m. on May 7, 2000 with severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. She was eight months pregnant.

Hospital protocol is that women beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy who exhibit such symptoms be monitored in the labor and delivery suite. But Suzette Dineen was instead monitored by nurses in the emergency room for three hours before a physician saw her.

The physician had been called in because the nurse was unable to locate the baby’s heartbeat, which the obstetrician determined was low and ordered an emergency caesarean section. By this time, the complaint said it was about 8:20 a.m. and Ryan was born approximately 15 minutes later.

His heart was not beating, he was not breathing and he needed to be resuscitated. Consequently, Ryan suffered brain damage resulting in injuries that will lifelong care.

"In the right case, with the right set of facts, the Frederick County jury responded like anyone would respond. I think that tells us something: that they’re concerned about accountability," the medical attorney for Ryan and his mother said.

Cases such as Ryan are extremely unfortunate, and there is no amount of money that can make up for what is lost. But it is possible to hold negligent doctors accountable, and hopefully this helps to save others from suffering similar tragedies.


4 $6.5M Settlement Reached in Cerebral Palsy Case

A $6.5 million settlement was recently reached in Aurora, Illinois regarding the case of a seven-year-old boy who now has cerebral palsy due to a supposed accident at a local hospital. The incident occurred at the Provena Mercy Medical Center where the boy endured a brain injury that has now altered his life.

Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Details

Roberto Morales, Jr. is now living with the cerebral palsy he was born with, at the fault of the medical facility and its staff, according to the suit. Attorneys for Morales claim that the attending obstetrician while the boy’s mother was in labor, along with the delivery nurse, failed to properly respond to the lowering of his heart rate when he was born. Morales’ oxygen flow was reportedly cut off as well, which the suit states was the cause of the medication known as Pitocin.

The settlement given to the boy and his family was reached last week for the negligence that occurred in April 7, 2001.  Not only was Morales born with cerebral palsy as the result of this horrific mistake, but he also has metabolic acidosis and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

According to reports, the settlement will go towards paying for boy’s continued health care and medical expenses. It also hopes to compensate for his loss of enjoyment of life and the emotional distress the family has suffered.  


Victory for Family of Cerebral Palsy Victim

In May 2002, Dan and Lori Perseke of Minnesota went to the Ortonville Hospital for the birth of their son, Wyatt.  Unfortunately, during and immediately following his birth, something went tragically wrong.  The Persekes allege that due to negligence by Dr. Allan Ross, his staff from his Northside Medical Clinic and the nurses at Ortonville hospital, Wyatt now suffers from cerebral palsy and permanent brain damage.

The lawsuit, which originally resulted in a hung jury, was recently retried in a new venue and this time the family was successful.  

During the trial, the jury heard testimony from a dozen doctors, split equally for the prosecution and the defense.  Dr. Ross, the nurses involved and the Persekes also took the stand to give testimony of the days tragic events.

In the end, the jury ruled that there was negligence, and attributed 70 percent to Dr. Ross and the remaining 30 percent to the hospital nurses.  The jury awarded $9,566,500 in damages, most of which will be placed in a trust for Wyatt’s future expenses.  The balance will go directly to the Persekes to cover Wyatt’s medical bills and other expenses until he turns 18.

1 Family Wins $20.5 Million in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

One of Pennsylvania’s largest medical malpractice verdicts in recent years was handed down on Monday in a cerebral palsy lawsuit. The jury awarded $20.5 million to a 7-year-old boy and his parents for injuries the boy suffered at birth.

Cody’s Ordeal

Cody White was born on June 30, 2001 by Caesarean section. His mother, Laura, called her physician that day to express concern about her unborn baby and she was told to go to Community Medical Center.

When she arrived, a fetal monitor showed signs of distress. The doctor was called but did not arrive until two hours later. During that time, Cody was receiving inadequate oxygen and consequently suffered damage to his brain.

Cody now suffers from cerebral palsy, mental retardation and blindness. He cannot walk or talk and will require round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

In 2003, Cody’s parents filed a lawsuit against the delivery doctor and the medical center where he was born.  The trial lasted two weeks and jurors deliberated for about four hours before finding the doctor 60 percent negligent and the hospital 40 percent negligent.

The majority of the $20.5 million award will go toward Cody’s care. The money will also compensate him for his lost earning capacity as well as his pain and suffering.

Posted as Part of our Set of Medical Malpractice Law Blogs

$4.25 Million Awarded to Family of Girl with Cerebral Palsy

The family of 5-year-old Miriam Tavares was awarded $4.25 million by a jury in Washington for injuries the girl suffered during her delivery at Evergreen Hospital Medical Center. Miriam sustained severe brain damage, and now has cerebral palsy. She cannot walk, talk, eat on her own and will require a lifetime of care.


Deprived of Oxygen


For at least 20 minutes before her birth, Miriam was deprived of crucial oxygen, according the family’s medical malpractice claim. Miriam’s mother, Sharla Tavares, went into labor a day before a scheduled C-section. She had a history of complications and was considered a high risk case.


Tavares checked into the hospital at 8:25 p.m., and signs of fetal distress were apparent 20 minutes later. At 9:00 p.m., Miriam’s heart rate had dropped to a dangerously low level. The nurses finally notified the obstetrician, who arrived at 9:18 to perform an emergency C-section.


Miriam was born at 9:24 p.m. and required resuscitation.


"She’s a real fighter and is deeply loved by her parents, but this was a preventable injury," the family’s lawyer said.


Hospital Found Negligent


The jury found guilty of negligence and awarded Miriam and her family $2.4 million to cover future medical costs, $350,000 for previous medical costs, and $1.4 million in general damages

2 Hospital Accepts Liability for Girl’s Cerebral Palsy

A hospital in Worcestershire, England, has admitted that medical mistakes led to the development of quadriplegic cerebral palsy in Holly Nixon. A medical negligence specialist and cerebral palsy lawyer for the family said Holly will likely require 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

Holly’s Ordeal

Holly was born by way of C-section in July 2003. At about 38 weeks’ gestation, Holly’s mother, Emma, began noticing problems. An exam revealed that Emma was experiencing raised blood pressure, but she was not admitted to the hospital.

The next day, the baby stopped moving and it was determined that Emma’s blood pressure had increased even more. Still, she was not admitted to the hospital. On the following day, Emma had a scan that showed fetal distress. The distress was not recognized until a second scan was performed later that day.

An emergency C-section was scheduled but delayed for several hours. During this time, Holly suffered irreparable brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. 

Preventable Medical Errors

“Holly is a wonderful little girl and she is loved very much by all who know her. However, by now she should be running around with her friends and starting music or dance classes,” Emma Nixon said. “We have been robbed of this and so many other opportunities that she should have had in life and it’s extremely difficult to come to terms with this, particularly as we now know it’s all down to basic mistakes made during her birth.”

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has agreed to start a fund for Holly’s care, but the total amount of compensation has yet to be determined.

4 $5.5 Million Settlement Reached in Birth Injury Case

A $5.5 million settlement has been reached in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a woman whose son suffered severe brain damage after prolonged oxygen deprivation at birth. The damage has left the boy, now 6, unable to perform basic functions like walking, sitting on his own, feeding and talking.


“Seeing how he struggles, seeing him in a wheelchair and not being able to hear him say ‘Mom’ in English or Spanish, it’s painful. We shouldn’t have been going through all of this,” said Eva Liberato, the boy’s mother.


According to Liberato’s lawsuit, the baby’s heart rate began to plummet after she was given medication to induce contractions. A family doctor tried unsuccessfully to deliver the baby with a vacuum retractor and forceps before an obstetrician was called to deliver the baby by C-section.


A jury found the family doctor liable for the boy’s birth injuries, but the hospital and obstetrician will also contribute to the settlement

2 Does 4 Million Equal 45 Million?

It would seem  to be true in the case of a young California boy whose troubled birth has left him with severe brain damage and cerebral palsy.  A Sierra View District Hospital  has agreed to a 4 million dollar settlement.  The obstetrician and nurse anesthetist have also agreed to a settlement but the terms of the settlement remain confidential.

Gabriela Enriquez  was admitted to Porterville Hospital on March 19th of 2006 to give birth to her first child, Jose Carrillo.  Bruce Fagel, Gabriela’s attorney, said that the baby’s monitor indicated that the baby was in distress over the  last several hours of labor but that those indications of distress were ignored by the nurses and obstetrician on duty.  He went on to say that by the time an emergency c-section was ordered the next morning significant brain damage had occurred from lack of oxygen.

According to Fagel, Jose has severe cerebral palsy and, while his doctors believe his intellectual development may be normal, his motor skills are lacking and he will never be able to walk or communicate normally.

Because the hospital district board is a public agency it was required to approve the terms of the settlement even  though the settlement was reached in private negotiation.  A judge also had to approve the settlement because the plaintiff is a minor.

Court records show the Enriquez/Carrillo suit against the hospital also named as defendants Dr. Jose R. Salas, a Porterville obstetrician; Janet Michelle Bailey, a registered nurse/anesthetist; and Dr. Philip Early, head of the hospital’s anesthesiology department.

According to records of the Medical Board of California, Salas was placed on probation in 1999 for three years because of an accusation of "gross negligence" and "repeated negligent acts" stemming from a 1995 birth at Sierra View.

So, how does a 4 million dollar settlement become a 45 million dollar settlement?  It doesn’t.  The settlement  is still a 4 million dollar settlement but the 4 million dollars will be placed in an annuity designed to provide a monthly income for the rest of Jose’s life – to cover his medical needs, home care and therapy.  Over his lifetime that annuity is estimated to pay him about 45 million dollars.




2 New Structured Settlement Law in Louisiana

Louisiana legislation signed into law on July 15th provides clearer guidance for judges dealing with settlements for minors.

House Bill 133 amended the state’s Civil Code of Procedures to state that "in approving any proposal by which money will be paid to the minor as the result of a judgment or settlement, the court may order that the money be paid under a structured settlement agreement which provides for periodic payments and is underwritten by a financially responsible entity that assumes responsibility for future payments."

State Representative Joseph Lopinto gives credit for the idea to Mike McCullough of the James Street Group.

"I used to see the parents go take the money and go to the bank and cash it," said McCullough, who is based in Lafayette, La. "I am trying to protect the minors that come into money from a lawsuit. The only recourse they have [otherwise] is when they turn 18 and can sue their parents."

Prior to passage of this bill, judges were only instructed to impose orders that were for the benefit of the minor such that funds were used, administered and conserved in the best interests of the minor.  The passage of this bill is meant to promote the use of structured funds but stops short of making it mandatory.