Major Settlement After ER Errors Lead to Death of a Newborn
Attorneys at Lane & Lane settled a wrongful death case at mediation for $1.8 million (including $200,000 for a survival action) after an emergency room failed to properly test and treat an infant suffering with Group B streptococcus (GBS).
Our client, Jasmin, was the second of two twins—born prematurely at 31 weeks gestation and delivered by caeserean section. At the time of the birth, Jasmin weighed only 2.7 pounds, while her sister, Jada, weighed 2.9 pounds. The babies were transferred to a neonatal center, where they remained for about a month. At the end of that time, it appeared that both infants had weathered the storm of their premature births and were well.
Shortly after their discharge, both babies had a checkup at their pediatrician’s office. At that time, Jasmin was noted to be alert and active. Her height, weight, temperature, and head circumference were all normal—her anterior fontanel was flat and soft.
An Infant in Distress
The next day, Jasmin's mother telephoned the pediatrician and left a message that Jasmin would not stop crying. She was instructed to go to the emergency room if the crying continued. Later that evening, Jasmin's mother took her to the emergency room of a local hospital, waiting for about two hours before seeing the nurse and physician.
After examining Jasmin, the emergency room physician determined that she had resolving constipation and discharged her with the following instructions:
- Give the her pedialyte
- Stop her vitamins
- Change to a low-iron formula
- Return to the emergency room if she doesn’t improve
- Follow up with her pediatrician
Eighteen hours later, Jasmin returned to the emergency room—lethargic and experiencing breathing abnormalities (apnea). She was admitted to the hospital, where doctors discovered she had developed Group B streptococcus (GBS). The infection resulted in severe brain damage and led to her death 22 months later.
Emergency Room Doctor Failed to Admit the Sick Child
Our attorneys contended that the emergency room physician and nurse were negligent in failing to admit Jasmin to the hospital, failing to perform diagnostic tests, and failing to administer antibiotics and supportive therapy. The Defense argued that the infant had presented with no clinical indications of sepsis in the emergency room, and neither admission to hospital nor administration of antibiotics would have altered the outcome of this late-onset GBS.
Medical malpractice cases are always complex, but our attorneys were able to show that the emergency room doctor and nurse were negligent in their treatment of this infant. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical provider, take some time to read our case results, peruse our free articles, and watch our videos. Then, when you are ready to take action, contact our office using our live chat. We are standing by to help you.
DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.