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$15 Million in Hospital Malpractice Suit

Vanessa Jenkins gave birth to her son, Cody Smithey, in 2001 at Valley West Community Hospital. Jenkins, who is from Aurora, Illinois, was allegedly having an uneventful labor until Dr. Martin Brauwelier repeatedly used a vacuum extractor device, using it 18 times within 50 minutes, unsuccessfully. At that point an emergency Caesarean section was performed by a different doctor because the baby’s fetal heart rate displayed signs of distress, at least that is what Jenkins’ lawsuit alleged. After Cody suffered brain damage and ended up with cerebral palsy and mental retardation, Jenkins filed suit claiming his birth injuries resulted from medical negligence. The medical malpractice suit, filed six years ago against the Illinois hospital, its staff, and the doctor, settled Tuesday for $15.35 million.

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