When a baby suffered traumatic spinal cord injuries during her birth at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, her parents turned to Tim Lawn and Stephen Raynes to investigate what happened and, if appropriate, seek financial security for their vulnerable daughter. After a detailed expert review, it was clear that the obstetrician failed to protect the baby’s neck during delivery and damaged the spinal cord.
After years of intense work and a two week hard-fought trial, Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer attorney Tim Lawn persuaded a Delaware County jury to award more than $40 million to the now six-year-old girl. The verdict, which totaled $40,258,000.00 and will be increased by delay damages to be more than $47,000,000.00, is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict ever awarded in Delaware County. The defendant doctor and hospital never made a settlement offer.
During the trial, Attorney Lawn presented expert testimony from a maternal fetal medicine specialist, a pediatric neuro-radiologist, a placental pathologist, a pediatric neurologist and pediatric spinal surgeon. Together, these physicians detailed how the baby’s injuries could only have occurred with excessive traction during her delivery.
“This was a vigorously defended case in which the defendants argued that the care was proper, and that the injuries occurred well before she was delivered. We knew that was medically inaccurate and set out to prove that improper care caused this catastrophic injury,” commented plaintiff’s lead attorney Timothy Lawn. Attorney Stephen Raynes noted “The jury was exceptionally devoted to finding the truth in this case. Tim’s brilliant courtroom advocacy, on behalf of this deserving little girl, convincingly proved that truth.”
After a normal pregnancy and normal fetal monitoring for more than nine hours, an unborn baby’s tests began to deteriorate. The poor fetal response indicated oxygen deprivation. In the face of the baby’s alarming heart rate, the attending obstetrician unfortunately pushed labor by administering the drug Pitocin. At trial, medical experts testified that the attending obstetrician failed to appropriately respond to the signs of fetal distress, improperly administered Pitocin, and should have delivered the distressed baby by emergency caesarian section. The birth asphyxia caused by these failures led to permanent brain damage. During the trial, the Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer team secured a $7.5 million recovery to take care of the child’s needs.
A physician failed to recognize the signs of distress from a drop in fetal heart rate during the delivery of a baby which resulted in decreased oxygen going to the baby’s brain and cerebral palsy. Tim Lawn analyzed the fetal monitor strips and was able to document that a timely C-section delivery would have prevented any injury. After Mr. Lawn had completed jury selection, the Hospital finally started settlement negotiations. As trial progressed, the child’s case was settled for $10,000,000, which ensured her future.
After a normal pregnancy and normal fetal monitoring for more than nine hours, baby Ella began to show signs of deterioration. She had some concerning lab results, climbing maternal blood pressure and some variable decelerations on the strip. As labor progressed the signs became more obvious that there could potentially be issues with this delivery and baby Ella’s oxygenation. Despite a prolonged late deceleration requiring fetal resuscitation as well as a non reassuring fetal heart rate tracing, medical personnel failed to recognize the severity of the situation and baby Ella was born limp with no heart rate. Regina Foley prepared the case for trial and retained a team of medical experts to testify that the nursing staff and attending obstetrician failed to appropriately respond to the signs of fetal distress, improperly administered Pitocin, and should have delivered the distressed baby by emergency caesarian section. The birth asphyxia caused by these failures led to permanent brain damage for baby Ella. Regina Foley successfully resolved the case on behalf of Ella and her parents at mediation for $4,200,000.