Minaxi Barot, indiv. and as m/n/g of Krunall Barot, inf. v. Brookdale Hospital Medical Center; Kingsboro Medical Group; Leslie Desrouleaux; Sook Marino, M.D.; and Ranjani Chandramouli
Type of Injury
FAILURE TO TIMELY PERFORM CAESAREAN SECTION ALLEGEDLY RESULTS IN BRAIN DAMAGE
Defense verdict for Kingsboro Medical Group and Desrouleaux (6/0)
XVI/14-12 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CHILDBIRTH FAILURE TO TIMELY PERFORM CAESAREAN SECTION ALLEGEDLY RESULTS IN BRAIN DAMAGE DEFENDANT CLAIMED RETARDATION IS CONGENITAL DEFENSE VERDICT
Minaxi Barot, indiv. and as m/n/g of Krunall Barot, inf. v. Brookdale Hospital Medical Center; Kingsboro Medical Group; Leslie Desrouleaux; Sook Marino, M.D.; and Ranjani Chandramouli 21059/93 3?-week trial Verdict 6/16/98 Kings Supreme
Judge: Michelle Weston Patterson
Verdict: Defense verdict for Kingsboro Medical Group and Desrouleaux (6/0). Defts. Brookdale, Marino, and Chandramouli settled for $175,000 during trial. Post-trial motions were denied. Jury: 3 male, 3 female.
Pltf. Atty: Peter D. Rosenberg of Rosenberg, Minc & Armstrong, Manhattan
Deft. Atty: Glen T. Pewarski of Gerard J. Marulli, Manhattan, for Kingsboro Medical Group and Desrouleaux
Philip D. Lerner of Aaronson, Rappaport, Feinstein & Deutsch, Manhattan, for Brookdale Hospital, Marino, and Chandramouli
Facts: In early 1987, Pltf. Minaxi Barot, age 27 at the time and approximately 4 months pregnant, underwent a sonogram that showed that the fetus was in a breech position. Pltf. contended that Deft. Desrouleaux negligently failed to follow the infant with serial sonography to determine if the fetus remained in a breech presentation. She contended that he should have performed an earlier Caesarean section, before the onset of labor on 7/6/87. Pltf. mother presented to Brookdale Hospital at 3 AM on 7/6/87, 2 days past her due date, in early labor. A non-stress test performed upon admission was normal. A resident examining Pltf. on admission noted the breech position and the need for a Caesarean. The chart indicated that Ms. Barot did not want a Caesarean, although she denied this at trial.
Pltf. claimed that Deft. Dr. Desrouleaux failed to timely appear at the hospital after being called at 3 AM. He was first noted to be present at 6:15 AM. Pltf. also contended that Deft. delayed in timely performing the Caesarean, which was performed at 7: 30 AM. “Mild” stained meconium fluid was noted during labor and during laryngoscopic suction of the infant following birth. His Apgar was 9 at 1 minute, but an elevated respiration rate required his transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit within hours of his birth. Pltf. claimed that the infant suffered hypoxia during labor and further hypoxia following delivery, due to meconium aspiration. A resident initially read a chest X-ray of the infant as showing meconium aspiration, but an official radiology reading 1 week later noted retained pulmonary fluid only, which is consistent with birth by a Caesarean section.
Pltf. contended that the infant’s newborn nursery course of elevated respiration, episodes of poor feeding, mild hypotonia, and lethargy were evidence of an hypoxic episode at the time of labor or delivery. The infant has an IQ of 45, which is in the moderate-to- severe range of mental retardation.
Deft. Dr. Desrouleaux claimed that he was first contacted after completion of the non-stress test sometime after 4 AM, and that his arrival at the hospital at approximately 6:15 AM was within accepted standards. He also claimed that the time frame in which the Caesarean was performed was within accepted practice because the Caesarean was performed on an elective basis. He denied that there was any evidence of fetal distress prior to the delivery. Deft. claimed that the 1-minute Apgar of 9, as well as the lack of major neurological signs in the first 24 hours of birth, disproved an hypoxic episode of a magnitude that could cause brain damage. He attributed the infant’s elevated respiration rate to transient tachypnea. Pltf. contended, however, that strips from external fetal monitoring performed during labor were not retained by the Hospital.
Pltf.’s expert contended that the infant’s low CO2 blood level 2 days after birth was evidence of metabolic acidosis caused by hypoxia during labor and delivery. Deft. argued that an arterial blood gas performed 3 hours after birth showing a pH of 7.41 conclusively ruled out acidosis from labor and delivery. Deft. also contended that the infant’s brain damage was genetic in origin. Pltf. argued that multiple chromosome tests, all of which were normal, that were performed on the infant and parents ruled out genetic origin with reasonable certainty. Deft. contended that a physical examination of the infant revealed multiple minor physical anomalies that indicated an increased likelihood of genetic malformation of the brain. Deft. also contended that the child’s treating physicians’ records supported a genetic etiology for his mental retardation. Pltf.’s vocational rehabilitation expert testified that Pltf. has future lost earnings of $43,000 per year starting at age 22, with a 43-year work life expectancy. The infant, age 10 at trial, attends a special school. Demonstrative evidence: enlargements of hospital and medical records; photographs of the infant’s sibling, who had similar physical characteristics, but normal intelligence. Specials: $43,000 per year for lost earnings (work life expectancy of 43 years). Offer: $175,000; demand: $3,000,000; amount asked of jury: $7,000,000. Jury deliberation: 20 minutes. Carriers: Group Counsel Mutual for Kingsboro and Desrouleaux; Combined Coordinating Counsel for Brookdale Hospital.
Pltf. Experts: Dr. Sidney Siegel, ob-gyn, Boca Raton, Florida (retired); Dr. Leon Charash, pediatric neurologist, Hicksville; Edmond Provder, vocational rehabilitation, Manhattan.
Deft. Experts: Dr. Frank Manning, ob-gyn, Bronx; Dr. Ingrid Taff, pediatric neurologist, Great Neck; Dr. Radha Giridharan, subsequent treating pediatric neurologist, Brooklyn.