Family Wins $53 Million Malpractice Verdict Against IL Hospital

A $53 million medical malpractice verdict will help ensure Isaiah Ewing is taken care of for the rest of his life. The 12-year-old boy has a severe form of cerebral palsy, is wheelchair-bound, and requires round-the-clock care for the most basic of daily needs. The judgement against the University of Chicago Medical Center marks the largest birth injury verdict ever rendered in Cook County, Illinois.

According to the lawsuit, filed by Isaiah and his mother, neonatal medical records indicate a series of medical mistakes during the boy’s delivery, leading to his profound disabilities. While still in the womb, Isaiah suffered from hypoxia (a lack of oxygen to the brain), which led to irreversible neurological damage. The complaint argued that attending medical personnel were negligent on a number of levels, by failing to properly monitor mother and baby, acquire accurate cord blood gases, promptly respond to fetal heart rate patterns suggesting fetal distress, and failing to perform a timely Cesarean section.

The $53 million birth injury award includes $28.8 million to accommodate for the boy’s future caretaking expenses and $7.2 million for anticipated medical costs.

$53 million birth injury verdict

A spokeswoman for University of Chicago Medical Center said the hospital has “great sympathy” for the plaintiffs, but disagrees with the judgement. Even before the 2013 malpractice case went before the jury, the University of Chicago Medical Center filed for a mistrial.

The defendant countered that Lisa Ewing and her unborn baby were properly treated for infection, which may lead to cerebral palsy and that the child was born with normal oxygen blood levels. Legal counsel for the plaintiffs argued that Isaiah had no infection and the medical records show that the baby had been “suffocated at birth”—which ultimately caused his brain injury.

The Cook County jury took just four hours to decide for Isaiah and his mother, rendering the multi-million verdict. “The University of Chicago has been, for the last 12 years, completely unapologetic, and even though the evidence was overwhelming that they caused Isaiah’s brain damage, they refused to accept responsibility,” stated the plaintiffs’ attorney in a news conference.

While the verdict seems large, it’s certainly not a windfall for the family, which will face astronomical hospital and medical costs for the remainder of Isaiah’s life. “This is what it will take to care for Isaiah 24 hours a day for the next 64.8 years,” said legal counsel for the family.

NY birth injury malpractice lawyers

When a cerebral palsy diagnosis stems from medical negligence before, during or after childbirth, victims have the right to sue for monetary compensation to help offset the costs of raising a disabled child. While a malpractice lawsuit can never undo the physical harm incurred, a settlement or court award may help families attain justice and financial security for the long-term.

For nearly 50 years, The Sanders Firm has been representing New Yorkers who have been affected by inexperienced, reckless and negligent medical professionals.  We offer free case evaluations and work on a contingency-fee basis, so there are no costs unless we win or settle your case. Call our offices toll-free at 1.800 FAIR PLAY (800.324.7752) to learn how we can help you. Resources

  1. Chicago Tribune, Jury hits U. of C. hospital with $53 million malpractice verdict