Ross Feller Casey Secures $32.5 Million In Birth Injury Case Against Reading Hospital


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Following jury selection last week and opening statements yesterday morning, Ross Feller Casey has obtained a record-setting $32.5 million settlement in a tragic birth injury case involving a now 5-year-old boy who battles the devastating effects of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which is a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen. The medical malpractice lawsuit involved a series of alleged medical errors at Reading Hospital that a jury was set to hear before the settlement was reached Monday.

Matt Casey, a founding partner of Ross Feller Casey, announced the outcome, which set a Pennsylvania record as the largest reported medical malpractice settlement in the state's history, according to VerdictSearch, the nation's leading publisher of verdicts and settlements.

"No amount of money can adequately compensate this little boy for what happened to him, but the civil justice system does provide a means by which his life, and his parents’ lives, can be made a little better," said Casey, a leading birth injury lawyer.

The case involves Miranda Garcia, of Reading, and her son, known only as D.O. in court documents.

Ms. Garcia was admitted to Reading Hospital in late September 2018 at nearly 39 weeks gestation with a rupture of membranes, known commonly as when an expectant mother's "water breaks."

Despite signs consistent with an intra-amniotic infection (called chorioamnionitis), the Reading labor and delivery team, led by defendant obstetrician Dominic Cammarano, D.O., failed to provide antibiotics. During labor, the electronic fetal monitoring tracings exhibited signs of fetal distress, which, according to the allegations in the court documents, should have resulted in an earlier delivery to avoid oxygen deprivation.

Instead of performing an emergency c-section, Dr. Cammarano decided to use forceps and a vacuum extractor.

After birth, the now brain-injured boy was taken to the Reading Hospital NICU. There, Reading NICU doctors failed to offer the only known treatment for babies born with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – therapeutic hypothermia/brain cooling. It offers a significant opportunity to mitigate or even halt the progression of a neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury by slowing down the body's metabolism and stopping brain cell death. The treatment typically must be administered within the first six hours of life if a newborn baby meets the criteria. The Level III Reading NICU had the capability of providing the boy with therapeutic hypothermia, but his doctors never offered it to his mother and never pursued it.

The boy today suffers from catastrophic and permanent neurological injuries. He has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and is nonverbal, cortically blind and tube-fed.

"He requires around-the-clock care, which his mother has largely shouldered. This settlement will help significantly to provide the care he needs and will help his mother navigate what will be an enormously difficult road ahead," Casey said.

The lawsuit was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The trial began Monday before The Honorable Craig Levin.

The settlement drew widespread media coverage, including:

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Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.