Defense Verdict in New York County Medical Malpractice Action
After a three-week trial, a unanimous New York County jury rendered a defense verdict in favor of five board-certified neonatologists affiliated with a premier New York City academic medical center. Plaintiffs claimed that the hospital staff failed to timely administer Synagis, a seasonal immunoprophylaxis designed to reduce risks of respiratory syncytial virus in the pre-term. Plaintiff was a 30 week gestational age baby girl whose newborn course was complicated by the diagnosis if Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome that prompted toe reduction surgery when she was approximately four months of age. Shortly thereafter, she developed a severe case of respiratory syncytial virus while she was in the neo-natal intensive care unit. She required transfer to another hospital for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. She also required a tracheostomy and a temporary gastrostomy tube.
At trial, plaintiff claimed that the neonatal staff was liable for its failure to time administer Synagis and for the fact that the infant-plaintiff was infected with the respiratory syncytial virus. It was claimed that the child suffered permanent neurological deficits as well as pulmonary disease.
In response, HPM&B senior partner Charles Bach called experts in newborn medicine, pediatric neurology and pediatric infectious disease to prove that the neonatal team met and exceeded the standard of care. A unanimous New York County delivered a verdict in favor of all five neonatologists after 30 minutes of deliberation.