Jury Finds Doctor Guilty of Medical Malpractice During Childbirth

A child who suffered brain damage due to negligent medical care during the delivery was awarded $510,000 by a jury this week. Staten Island Live reported on the jury verdict which found Staten Island hospital and the obstetrician Paul Heltzer guilty of medical malpractice.

Marquita Spicer was rushed to the hospital in early April 2006 to give birth to her first child, Xzaviar. The birth proved to be long and difficult. After breaking Ms. Spicer’s water to speed up the labor, doctors also gave her pitocin, a drug used to assist natural contractions.

However, doctors kept Ms. Spicer on the drug for far too long. The result was that contractions continued more vigorously and for longer than necessary, leading to harmful stress on the baby. The stress increased pressure on his brain while lowering the blood and oxygen flow throughout his body. The stresses and flow problems ultimately led to Xzaviar suffering permanent brain damage.

A jury ultimately agreed that Ms. Spicer was on the drug for too long and that a Caesarean section should have been performed in the later stages of the pregnancy to avoid the complications. As a result, Xzaviar now has permanent lesions on his brain, a lower IQ than his similar age counterparts, and fine-motor skill deficiencies.

A permanent injury to babies caused by negligent medical care during deliveries is an all too common problem. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti continue to fight for the rights of victims of medical errors during the birthing process. In one case, we negotiated a $2.3 million settlement after a child suffered cerebral palsy because of a doctor’s decision not to perform a timely Caesarean section when it became clear that it was necessary. If you or someone you know may have suffered similar negligent medical care during delivery of a child, please contact our offices to learn about the process of vindicating your rights.

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