Florida Federal Court Approves Settlement Of Birth Brain Injury Action Against United States For $ 3,075,000
Editor's Note: This week's document of the week comes a case that came to our attention in a news story. The pleading comes from the federal docket, rather than an attorney submission.
On Aug. 23, 2012, plaintiff Dulce Rojas was informed at Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc., (JTCHC), a federally-funded health clinic, that she was seven weeks pregnant. She treated at JTCHC throughout her pregnancy. On April 25, 2013, three days past her due date, Rojas was admitted to North Shore Medical Center for induction of labor by JTCHC obstetrician Ato Atogho, M.D. After spontaneous rupture of membranes and administration of an epidural, fetal monitor tracings showed prolonged decelerations. Pitocin was administered at around 12:14 p.m. the following day. Six hours later, obstetrician Gladys Dupuy, D.O., an employee of JTCHC, documented that Rojas was fully dilated, at +1 station, and category 2 fetal heart tones. A vacuum was used to assist with delivery. A NICU team was not called until four minutes after A.G.R. was delivered. A.G.R. was intubated at 5 minutes. A.G.R. was transferred to Miami Children's Hospital on April 26, 2013, where he was diagnosed with anoxic seizures and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. He also suffers from spastic cerebral palsy secondary to his brain injury.
On Jan. 22, 2016, Rojas, as natural guardian and parent of A.G.R., filed a medical malpractice action against the United States of America in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Plaintiff claimed that Dr. Dupuy, JTCHC, and Dr. Atogho were negligent in the medical care and treatment of her and her minor child. Plaintiff alleged that the failure to timely deliver A.G.R. and failure to have immediate NICU care caused his serious and permanent brain injury.
On Feb. 7, 2017, the parties agreed to a settlement of $ 3,075,000, and subsequently filed a motion for approval of the settlement. On May 12, 2017, Judge K. Michael Moore issued an order approving the settlement.
Plaintiff was represented by Araly Herrera and Hector J. Lombana of Gamba & Lombana PA in Coral Gables, FL, as well as Carlos E. Verdecia of The Verdecia Law Firm in Coconut Grove, FL. Defendant was represented by Lawrence Nathan Rosen of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami, FL.
Lexis Advance subscribers may access the full summary here: Dulce Rojas, Individually and as Natural Guardian and Parent of A.G.R., a Minor, v. United States of America; 2017 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 1256
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