Attorneys Daniel S. Weinstock, G. Scott Vezina, and Carolyn M. Chopko secured what is believed to be a record-breaking settlement of $6.5 million in a birth injury/medical malpractice case in a rural county in southern New Jersey. The defendants have insisted on complete confidentiality of the names of any of the parties to the case.
During the second stage of labor, the fetal monitor tracings began to suggest the baby was not tolerating the stresses of labor, and may be becoming hypoxic. There was a stark difference between the recollections of the nursing staff and the responsible physician in terms of what the fetal monitor strips were demonstrating and whether or not any abnormal findings were being timely reported to the responsible physician. Ultimately the baby was delivered by emergency cesarean section following a period of bradycardia (dangerously low heart rate). He survived, but suffered severe brain damage and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
The New Jersey Charitable Immunity Act was the greatest hurdle standing between the strength of the malpractice claim and a big recovery, because the insurance limits of the non-hospital defendants was limited to $2.25 million. Attorneys Weinstock and Vezina were able to recover nearly three times the amount of this “soft cap” by mounting a compelling legal argument that one of the causes of their client’s catastrophic injuries was a failure on the part of the hospital’s administration to enforce its own written policies for policing non-employee physicians practicing within its facility.
Attorneys Weinstock, Vezina, and Chopko are very proud that this creative and aggressive litigation tactic helped secure what is believed to be an unprecedented result, and is projected to provide for the lifelong medical and related care needs of a child desperately in need of this care.