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$6 Million for Pediatric Malpractice

November 21, 2006
Home Firm News $6 Million for Pediatric Malpractice

Over one in four pregnant women carries the bacteria Group B Streptococcus (GBS or Group B Strep). It can cause an infection that is easily treatable with antibiotics. Despite how often the infection arises or how devastating its effects when left untreated, babies continue to suffer at the hands of physicians who fail to follow proper procedure.

Toward its ongoing dedication to hold doctors and other medical professionals accountable for the tragic injuries they inflict with substandard care, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., one of the leading medical malpractice and personal injury litigation law firms in America, is gratified by a recent related malpractice suit that yielded a settlement of $6,150,000.

The case, filed in Rockland County, New York, involved an infant who suffered brain damage at six weeks of age due to a failure to timely diagnose and treat meningitis and sepsis caused by the GBS bacteria. This little girl, now 2 ½ years old, lives with mental retardation and an intractable seizure disorder—seizures that cannot be controlled with medication. The monetary award derived from this case will be used by her mother and grandparents to help mitigate the overwhelming cost of caring for her for the rest of her life.

Allan Zelikovic, who handled the case and is the head of the Medical Malpractice Unit at Weitz & Luxenberg said, “It is shocking to think that a pediatrician would withhold antibiotics to such a sick baby. There can be no good explanation, especially since the results are so very tragic.”

The mother was treated for GBS during labor, receiving intravenous antibiotics. However, six weeks later, when she brought her daughter to the pediatrician with a high fever, the pediatrician failed to read the pre-natal records, which noted that the baby had been exposed to GBS during the pregnancy. Instead of immediately administering antibiotics upon signs the baby was infected, the doctor withheld that vital medicine while waiting for test results. The doctor later admitted that had she known of the GBS exposure, she would not have withheld antibiotic treatment.

As a result, the child suffered from sepsis, meningitis and strokes. She spent most of the first year of her life in hospitals and now endures daily therapies at home. Appallingly, all of this trauma could have been prevented with entirely standard medical care.

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