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Queen County Jury Awards Over $38 Million For A New York Birth Injury


New York Birth Injury Attorney | Law Office of Dimitrios Kourouklis, Ph.D.

In December of 2022, a Queens County jury found in favor of the plaintiff in a New York Birth Injury case.  The infant plaintiff suffered lack of oxygen during delivery and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy upon her birth.  The jury awarded the plaintiff damages in excess of $38 million, which included an award for past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering for a period of 16 years and economic loss.


In November of 2008, the infant plaintiff was delivered via an emergency C-section.  At the time of her birth, it was determined that the infant plaintiff was suffering extreme anemia, had only one-third of her normal blood volume and suffered from cerebral palsy. 


Several days before the infant plaintiff was born, the plaintiff mother fell while walking in a parking lot.  She went to a local hospital where a sonogram and electronic fetal monitoring was performed.  The doctor at the hospital noted that although the results were normal, he had some concern about a potential “delayed” abruption (separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus).  On November 6, 2008, he plaintiff mother went to her treating Ob-Gyn two days later for a follow-up examination.  The plaintiff mother was examined by a nurse practitioner, who performed a series of tests.  The next day, the plaintiff mother began to experience continuous contractions, which lasted for approximately 10 hours.  The very next day, the plaintiff mother began to experience symptoms of fever, chills, nausea, and/or vomiting.  Two days later, on November 10, 2008, the plaintiff mother went back to her treating Ob-Gyn and told her doctor that she was experiencing abdominal pain.  The treating doctor did not make any such notation of abdominal pain in his chart.  An examination of the plaintiff mother was performed at the visit, but the doctor did not perform any electronic fetal monitoring.


Several days later, the plaintiff mother delivered the infant plaintiff via emergency C-section with the assistance of a different doctor.  The infant plaintiff suffered lack of oxygen and was in distress in utero.  As a result, the infant plaintiff was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the time of birth.


The plaintiff mother commenced a medical malpractice action on behalf of the infant plaintiff against the Ob-Gyn doctor, the doctor’s medical practice, the local hospital the plaintiff mother went to after her fall, the doctor who delivered the baby and other individuals.  The action was settled as to the local hospital and a few individuals.


In 2015, the action proceeded to trial against the remaining defendants.  During the trial, the plaintiff’s counsel argued that the Ob-Gyn doctor and his medical group departed from the acceptable standard of care by failing to perform electronic fetal monitoring during the plaintiff mother’s November 10, 2008 visit and that said departure was a proximate cause of the infant plaintiff’s injuries.  The jury returned with a verdict against the Ob-Gyn doctor but issued a defense verdict for the doctor who performed the delivery of the infant plaintiff.


The Ob-Gyn doctor filed a post-trial motion to vacate the jury’s verdict arguing that the plaintiff failed to prove its case against the Ob-Gyn doctor.  The trial judge granted the motion, vacated the verdict, and dismissed the action.  The plaintiffs appealed the ruling.  The Appellate Division, Second Department reversed the trial court order and reinstated the lower’s court dismissal of the action.  The appellate court also held that the award for past and future pain and suffering and the infant plaintiff’s loss of income opportunity was against the weight of the evidence.  Accordingly, the appellate court directed that there be a new trial only on the issue of damages since liability and causation were established at the 2015 trial.


A damages trial was held in 2022.  At the time of the trial, the infant plaintiff was now 14 years old.  She was non-ambulatory, unable to use her arms or speak, was fed through a feeding tube, and required around the clock nursing care.  The plaintiff’s physical medicine and rehabilitation expert opined that all of the infant plaintiff’s issues were related to her birth injury and that they were permanent in nature.  He further opined that the infant plaintiff would never be employable.


The plaintiff mother provided testimony regarding her daughter’s medical care over the past 14 years, including with how the infant plaintiff deals with her medical disabilities.  The plaintiff mother testified that the infant plaintiff had awareness of her family and surroundings and her pain and suffering.


The infant plaintiff’s father also testified at the trial about his education and employment history.  The plaintiff’s forensic economist provided testimony about the infant plaintiff’s lost income opportunities.


At the close of trial, the plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award the infant plaintiff $33 million in damages.


The Queens County jury found in favor of the plaintiff's claims about the infant plaintiff. The jury awarded the infant plaintiff damages for past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering for a period of 16 years, and economic loss. The award for the infant plaintiff’s loss of earnings was determined to be valued at $5,540,081. Thus, the damages verdict award totaled $38,540,081.


Law Office Of Dimitrios Kourouklis, Ph.D.

New York Birth Injury Attorneys


If you believe your child's birth injury was the result of medical malpractice, please contact our firm to discuss your case. The New York Birth Injury attorneys at the Law Office of Dimitrios Kourouklis Ph.D. are dedicated to helping children and their families affected by medical negligence recover for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our New York Birth Injury attorneys, call the Law Office of Dimitrios Kourouklis today at (929) 400-7608. If you would prefer to reach us via email, you can email us at kourouklislaw@gmail.com or fill out our online contact form.





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