In what is being called the largest medical malpractice verdict in state history, a Connecticut jury this week awarded a couple $58 million after their baby was born with severe injuries.
The jury in Waterbury Superior Court reached the verdict in favor of Dominic and Cathy D'Attilo of Norwalk against their son Danny's obstetrician, Dr. Richard Viscarello.
Attorneys for the D'Attilos argued during the month-long trial that Viscarello delayed performing a cesarean section on Cathy and made critical errors during her childbirth, which caused Danny's severe form of cerebral palsy.
The lawyers say Danny should have been delivered two days before his actual birth date when Cathy D'Attilo's embryonic fluid dropped drastically. Instead, his birth was delayed until she went into labor, and a series of missteps by Viscarello further complicated the delivery, they say.
The problems were immediately evident upon his birth Feb. 2, 2003 -- Danny appeared pale, he was limp, unable to breath and had an irregular heartbeat. Weeks later, it was learned that Danny had a severe form of cerebral palsy. He would never be able to walk, talk or eat on his own.
Dominic D'Attilo, an unemployed masonry contractor who has lived in Norwalk for more than 40 years, said getting justice for Danny proved to be a long and arduous journey.
The D'Attilos have been fighting for damages since their blond, blue-eyed son was born eight years ago, The Stamford Times reported.
During that time, they have incurred more than $500,000 in medical bills for their son. Their Suburban Drive home is currently in jeopardy of being foreclosed.
"It's been rough, but we're very happy with the outcome," Dominic D'Attilo told the paper. "We still have a long road ahead of us."
"We have to take care of our little boy," he added. "It's a struggle every day, but we love him so much. We'll do anything for him. Now that we won, we can put this behind us and we can concentrate on our little boy."
Cathy D'Attilo called the verdict "bittersweet."
"Daniel can't take back what happened to him," she said. "I'm grateful today. This (money) will help Danny and all his future needs."
Attorneys of Ross Feller Casey, LLP have built a remarkable record of victories in Birth Injury related cases, amassing a long list of seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements. They include:
•$22 million verdict in a birth injury case involving blood arriving late for a transfusion
•$12 million recovery in a birth injury case
•$8 million settlement for a child who suffered a brain injury due to a delay in delivery
•$7 million recovery for a child left with cerebral palsy as a result of obstetrical negligence
•$7 million settlement for a woman who died just after delivering a baby
•$6 million settlement for an infant who suffered brain damage because a nurse midwife and nurses failed to manage fetal distress during labor
•$5.5 million recovery for a child who was brain injured at birth because an obstetrician failed to recognize signs of placental abruption
•$5.5 million settlement for the family of a 23-year-old woman who died after giving birth to her daughter