December 18, 2005Woman in Chicago wins $17M birth injury lawsuit

A jury in Chicago has ordered St. Anthony Hospital to pay $17 million after finding it liable for injuries to a baby who was born there in 1998. The pregnant woman, Selene Araujo, pointed to Dr. Jacques Hercule’s 20- to 25-minute delay in performing an emergency Caesarean section after she went into seizures while delivering her daughter, Evelyn.

Araujo’s birth injury lawyers convinced the jurors that Evelyn’s injuries resulted from Dr. Hercule’s delay in performing the surgery. The girl now suffers from severe brain damage and the symptoms of cerebral palsy arising from her birth injuries.

Cerebral palsy in newborns is most typically caused by birth injury. This can include the failure to identify and treat seizures, failure to perform a Caesarean section for big babies, delay in delivering a baby or failure to realize that a baby’s neck is encircled by the umbilical cord. Roughly one in every 2,000 babies in the United States is born with cerebral palsy.

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