The Camden County trial court recently approved a $9.5 million settlement for an eight-year-old girl who had suffered serious brain injuries in the weeks following her birth in 2012 in a South Jersey hospital.
Eight-Year-Old Suffered Brain Injuries Shortly After Birth
The young girl was born premature and transferred to the NICU for treatment. When she was 14 days old, she began to develop a rash on her arm. Although the rash was initially diagnosed as a baby rash, when it failed to go away after two days, doctors suspected a herpes simplex virus infection. The girl was placed on anti-viral medication pending the result of a PCR test. The hospital sent the child’s sample to an outside lab.
A miscommunication of the lab results led to the test being recorded in the hospital’s electronic medical records system as having a negative result when in fact the child’s test had come back positive. The neonatology team accordingly discontinued the child’s anti-viral treatment; however, it decided to discontinue treatment without first verifying the test result with the outside lab, or waiting for the results of two additional PCR tests that had been performed but whose results had not been placed into the hospital’s electronic medical records system.
Andres & Berger Help the Child’s Family Bring Suit Alleging Negligence of Hospital Staff
Herpes simplex virus is known to be incredibly dangerous to infants unless immediate anti-viral treatment is administered. Represented by Attorney Michael S. Berger of Andres & Berger, PC, in Haddonfield, NJ, the child’s family alleged that the hospital staff’s errors and negligence resulted in the delayed and incomplete treatment of the child’s herpes simplex virus infection, which ultimately resulted in the child suffering complications of herpes encephalopathy and cerebral palsy, leading to a grave prognosis for the rest of the child’s life.
The child’s family filed suit against the hospital, alleging its laboratory assistant was negligent for entering the wrong PCR test result and that the NICU clinical team was negligent for discontinuing anti-viral treatment before reviewing all outstanding test results. The family further alleged that the child’s herpes simplex virus infection should have been diagnosed two days earlier, and that a more timely diagnosis would have greatly increased the chances of successful treatment and prevented the spread of the infection to the child’s brain.
Haddonfield Birth Injuries Attorneys Recover $9.5 Million Settlement for the Injured Child and Her Family
All defendants denied liability for the child’s brain injuries, arguing that her injuries were related to her prematurity and the transfer of infections from the child’s mother at birth through the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid. The defendants also contended, citing various studies, that the child would likely still have suffered a poor neurological outcome even with timely and effective treatment.
Attorney Michael Berger was able to counter the defendants’ arguments by presenting more recent and significant medical studies that showed infants experienced better statistical outcomes when they received higher and longer doses of anti-viral therapy administered in a timely manner. In deposing the NICU team, Attorney Berger was also able to obtain their concessions that the child’s prematurity was likely not a factor in causing her brain injuries.
Attorney Berger was able to secure a $9.5 million settlement for the child and her family, with the hospital paying $5 million on behalf of its staff and the excess carrier paying the remaining balance of the settlement. The settlement will certainly help the family care for the child; now eight years old, she is wheelchair-bound and will require lifelong care, but has made significant progress in rehabilitation and is able to comprehend her surroundings and make her needs known through computers and other devices. The family has established a special needs trust to provide for the child’s life-long needs.
Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Birth Injuries Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Haddonfield birth injuries attorneys at the Law Offices of Andres & Berger P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, and Winslow. Call us today at (856) 795-1444 or fill out our online contact form schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 264 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.