Garfield Heights boy and mother awarded $14.5 million in medical malpractice court
Stephanie Stewart was an excited but nervous mother to be. When Stewart was twenty-five years old her pregnancy ended with an emergency caesarian delivery, five weeks before her due date. In 2003, eleven years after her first pregnancy, Stewart was pregnant with her second child. During this pregnancy she went into labor three times. She was admitted to MetroHealth Hospital and each time the labor was stopped with medication and bed rest.
Medical malpractice court documents stated that because of Stewart’s first pregnancy, and the three times that she went into labor, Stewart and her doctor discussed that she should have a caesarian section. On April 10th, Stephanie Stewart’s water broke and she was admitted to the hospital at noon. Stewart wanted to deliver her baby right away, but the hospital staff did not agree that she was ready. At 5:30pm Stewart asked again to have the baby delivered. Stewart was told by the attending obstetrician that the baby was healthy. Around 9:00pm the baby showed signs of distress. Medical malpractice court documents stated that an emergency caesarian was immediately performed.
Alijah, her son, had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. Medical experts concluded that the brain hemorrhage occurred at 5:30pm, around the time when Stewart was told the baby was healthy and fine. Stephanie Stewart’s son, Alijah, is now eleven years old. Alijah has cerebral palsy, cognitive delays, visual impairments and other problems that will require lifelong care and attention.
The hospital’s defense was that Alijah was a premature baby and nothing could have changed the birth injury from occurring.
According to Cleveland.com, the medical malpractice court jury determined there was medical negligence and Stewart was not informed that there was a significant risk of a brain hemorrhage if a baby goes into fetal distress. Stewart was not given any options and she was denied her request for a caesarian. The jury awarded $8 million for the cost of future care, $5 million for Alijah’s pain and suffering, $1 million for Stewart’s cost of services and $500,000 for past economic losses.