A four-year old boy with cerebral pasly and his parents have settled their obstetrical malpractice case for $2.55 million, one of the largest settlements in Montgomery County in recent years.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the identities of the family, the hospital and the attending obstetrician will not be disclosed.
"Basically, the plaintiff contended that the baby should have been delivered earlier," said Joel Hoffman, a partner in the law firm of Hoffman, Apfel and Lyons. The case was handled by partner Dov Apfel, who was not available for comment at press time.
"Mrs. Smith had a completely routine pregnancy. She was admitted to the hospital full-term, at 38 weeks, reporting decreased fetal movement," Apfel said in a statement. "After the baby was discovered in the breech position, a cesarean section was ordered. Ten minutes later, the fetal heart rate decelerated. Then, the fetal heart rate showed a tachycardia [rapid activity] which lasted 40 minutes. No one responded to these very ominous signs to expedite the delivery."
According to Apfel, it took more than 20 minutes for the child to register a heartbeat by the time delivery occurred over six hours later. As a result of the alleged mishandling of the delivery, the baby suffers from severe brain damage, including seizures, cerebral palsy and other cognitive and neurological handicaps. he will require a lifetime of therapy and special care, Apfel said.
"It is very gratifying to reach such a wonderful result for this family, expecially in this county," Apfel said in his statement. "most attorneys in this field know that this is a very condervative [sic] jurisdiction, with notoriously low verdicts and settlements."
Dov Apfel is a principal in the law firm of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, P.A.
6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 400, Greenbelt, Maryland 20770. He can be reached by
phone at 301-220-2200, or by e-mail. Mr. Apfel is contacted by lawyers and
families throughout the United States to assist them with potential medical
malpractice claims involving children who have died, or who sustained
irreversible brain damage. He is the former Co-Chair of the Birth Trauma
Litigation Group of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and a member
of the Board of the Medical Negligence Section of the Maryland Trial Lawyers
This web site is not intended as legal advice on cerebral palsy, and is not a substitute for obtaining guidance from your own legal counsel about cerebral palsy litigation. It provides general educational information about the standards of care and causation issues that can arise in obstetrical malpractice and cerebral palsy litigation. Readers of the articles contained within this web site should not act upon the cerebral palsy information without first consulting with a lawyer who is experienced in evaluating and litigating cerebral palsy and obstetrical malpractice cases. Mr. Apfel is admitted to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. When Mr. Apfel is asked to participate in cerebral palsy
litigation filed in other states, he will associate with, and act as co-counsel with, an attorney licensed in that state who is familiar with the local laws and procedures.