UChicago Medical Center to pay $53M in birth injury lawsuit

In the biggest birth injury verdict ever in Cook County, a jury awarded a 12-year-old boy and his mother $53 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against University of Chicago Medical Center, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Lisa Ewing filed the suit in 2013, alleging physicians and nurses mishandled her pregnancy and her son Isaiah's birth. Isaiah has cerebral palsy, and his mother needs to feed, bathe and help him go to the bathroom daily.

According to the Ewings and their lawyers, clinicians didn't carefully monitor the mother and baby, didn't perform a timely cesarean section and weren't aware of signs indicating the baby was in distress.

"The University of Chicago has been, for the last 12 years, completely unapologetic, and even though the evidence was overwhelming that they caused Isaiah's brain damage, they refused to accept responsibility," Geoffrey Fieger, one of the Ewing's lawyers, said, according to the Tribune.

University of Chicago Medical Center had filed for a mistrial before the case went to the jury, with the hospital's lawyer saying Mr. Fieger's closing argument "shattered the line between zealous advocacy and improper prejudicial comments, rendering it impossible for defendant to receive a fair trial," according to the Tribune.

A spokeswoman for the hospital told the Tribune the University of Chicago Medical Center is sympathetic toward the Ewings but disagrees with the jury's findings. She told the paper that "Isaiah was born with normal oxygen blood levels" and the "injury occurred before the care Mr. Fieger criticized."

The hospital maintains Isaiah had an infection that caused the cerebral palsy.

A judge still has to enter judgment on the verdict, because there are pending motions for mistrial.

More articles on healthcare lawsuits:
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