A $31 million verdict against Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, could be the largest jury award for a medical malpractice case in Ohio history, though a settlement agreement makes it unlikely the hospital will have to pay that much.
As the jury was deliberating, after a four-week trial before Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Timothy O’Connell, attorneys for the hospital and the family of Leondo Stanziano worked out a settlement agreement.
The attorneys said the agreement is confidential and they could not discuss the details. They expect the case to be finished in the next 30 to 40 days, they said.
The agreement will end the case, eliminating any appeals or punitive damages, which were to be decided later.
Nearly $26 million of the jury’s award was for future medical care for the boy, now 8, who was born Dec. 11, 2000 at the hospital.
He suffered “permanent, irreversible brain damage,” during his birth, according to the complaint filed by his family in 2006.
The lawsuit also identified Dr. Kedrin E. Van Steenwyk and Contemporary Obstetrics and Gynecology as defendants, but the jury found that neither was liable for what happened to the boy.
The boy’s mother, Renetha, was a VBAC patient, meaning she would deliver the boy vaginally, though she had previously had a Caesarian section. That meant she was at a higher risk for a ruptured uterus during labor, which occurred.
At that point, the mother’s body stopped providing oxygen through the placenta, though the boy was still inside her. He probably went 18 to 20 minutes without oxygen.
The hospital staff, which knew Renetha Stanziano was a high-risk patient, erred by failing to monitor the labor properly, by failing to diagnosis the hyper-stimulation of her uterus, by inappropriately using the drug Pitocin and by not telling the attending physician of her “inappropriate contraction pattern,” according to the complaint.
The nurses continued to give her Pitocin, even as her contractions escalated to unsafe levels, and “they blew the uterus apart,” according to the plaintiffs’ attorney.
The boy, called “Leo,” has severe cerebral palsy. He uses a feeding tube. He cannot speak, is not ambulatory and has trouble holding anything in his hands. Though Leo is badly disabled, he is alert and can recognize family members. When he needs something, he communicates by kicking.
Leo will never be able to work, and Renetha and her husband Douglas are now “24-7 health-care givers. After Leo’s birth, Renetha stopped attending college and quit her job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to take care of the boy.
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Medical Malpractice Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.