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A Pottstown, Pa. family has been awarded $32.8M after their daughter was born with brain damage at Phoenixville Hospital.  After 9 hours of deliberation, it was found that the nurses who were attending the girl’s pregnant mother acted with negligence.

In this case, Lilly Ciechoski, who suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, was found to have suffered brain damage after nurses failed to alert the girl’s mother that the baby’s heart rate had drastically dropped for 13 minutes during labor. That lack of communication, in conjunction with other delays in the baby’s delivery, was found to be the cause of the brain damage from which she currently suffers.


Negligent Medical Care

In an interview about the case, the family’s attorney, Jason Archinaco, said, “I compare it to an airplane going into a nose dive for 13 minutes and no one telling the pilot.”

The jury found a third nurse involved in the delivery as well as the hospital itself not negligent in the case. The two nurses who were found to be negligent no longer work at the hospital.

According to the timeline of the delivery, the baby’s heart rate dropped significantly, from 150 beats per minute (considered to be normal) to just 60 beats per minute, at 1:07 a.m. on November 14, 2009. Two nurses, Christine Winter and Lana Jones-Sandy, noticed the change but did not tell the mother, Leslie Proffitt, or her OB-GYN, Dr. Amy Cadieux, about the change.  When Cadieux came into Proffitt’s room at 1:20 a.m. and saw the change, she immediately asked the nurses to notify their supervisor and get an anesthesiologist so an emergency C-section could be performed.

The supervisor wasn’t notified until 1:29, and an anesthesiologist wasn’t found until 1:36, when the baby was finally delivered. Had the baby been delivered between 15 and 17 minutes earlier, she would have suffered either minimal brain damage or none at all.

Seeking Compensation for Negligence

Archinaco said of the case, “This verdict essentially enables [Lilly’s] parents to give her the best care and the best chance for recovery. I think the jury found that this was not up to the standard of care in Chester County. They didn’t give up on this little girl. They spoke up for her.”

The awarded sum is thought to be one of the largest ever awarded in Chester County. In another case in 2012, a similarly delayed delivery that brain damage in an infant was also taken to trial, and that family was awarded $78.5 million.

Brain injury, brain damage, and birth injury are sadly all too common. If you have experienced a case of medical malpractice and need legal representation, contact the skilled professionals at Malman Law in Chicago.

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