A $12 million settlement has been reached in the case of an Indiana girl who suffered permanent brain damage during her birth, according to The Times of North West Indiana.
Kari Cavanaugh of Lowell, Ind., reached the settlement announced last Friday with South Suburban Hospital in Hazelcrest, Ind., and Dr. Monique Alford. The mother filed suit over her daughter Maria, now 9, who according to The Times can’t walk or talk; is vision and hearing impaired; and is bowel-incontinent and spastic. She has to have care 24/7.
Kari Cavanaugh was 19 when she gave birth to Maria, The Times reported. She was in labor at South Suburban and was given Pitocin to increase her contractions. The birth seemed to be proceeding with no problems.
But Cavanaugh’s lawyers told The Times that the drug Pitocin was still administered to Kari when she was having contractions less than two minutes apart. The woman was in labor for six hours, and Pitocin was given to her during that entire period.
Cavanaugh’s suit charged that because of that, Maria’s brain didn’t get enough oxygen and she suffered permanent brain damage, according to The Times.
The mother’s lawyers contended that had nurses stopped the Pitocin when the baby appeared to be distressed, a cesarean section could have been performed and Maria wouldn’t have had brain damage.
The settlement will go in a restricted trust fund and be used for Maria’s care.