Attorneys Daniel S. Weinstock, G. Scott Vezina, and Carolyn M. Chopko obtained a record-setting $20 million settlement on behalf of a family whose child suffered kernicterus and cerebral palsy due to the healthcare providers’ alleged negligence in failing to timely treat his hyperbilirubinemia. We are unaware of any larger pre-trial medical malpractice cases in the region, or of any larger recovery in a kernicterus case anywhere. The defendants were insistent on confidentiality as a term of the settlement.
The case arose when the child was born with an isoimmune hemolytic disease at a local hospital in Central Pennsylvania. That hospital recognized the child’s need for a higher level of care, based upon his severe anemia and hyperbilirubinemia, and transferred him to a regional medical center with a neonatal intensive care unit. In spite of what attorneys Weinstock and Vezina argued was clear evidence of the need to perform an immediate exchange blood transfusion, the lifesaving treatment was delayed by nearly 40 hours. Unfortunately for the child and his family, the exchange blood transfusion was performed only after the child had already developed kernicterus, a brain injury that manifests as cerebral palsy.
Attorneys Weinstock, Vezina, and Chopko assembled a top-flight team of expert witnesses and relentlessly prepared the case for trial. Ultimately, Weinstock and Vezina were able to negotiate an extraordinary recovery for their clients, which will provide for the child’s lifelong medical needs and developmental support.