Tinley Park Family Awarded $23.1 Million in Negligence Case

A judge from Cook County awarded $23.1 million to a Tinley Park family of a 5 year old girl who continually endures health problems as a result of complications during delivery.

Dr. Thomas Myers, the neonatologist who over saw the birth of Drew Kerrins, was found to be negligent by Judge Kay Hanlon in a ruling on Monday said the family’s attorney Jim Ball. Myers worked for Renaissance Medical group and provided neonatology services at the Palos Community Hospital. He said the Palos Community hospital was not found to be negligent, they were however liable for $21 million in damages.

After suffering from a large amount of blood loss which was not fully transfused three hours after her birth and suffering brain damage she also has health problems including cerebral palsy and epilepsy as stated by Ball.

According to ball the medical malpractice case filed on May of 2014 was a record breaking amount for a birth injury lawsuit decided by a judge instead of the jury.

Drew has to have occupational, physical and speech therapy and is “reliant on someone for every single bodily function in her daily life,” said Ball. Becky, Drew’s mother holds a master degree in clinical counseling and worked for Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago as a program manager. She had to eventually quit her job, so she could care full time for her daughter.

At the age of 38, she was considered a high risk pregnancy, and she chose Palos due to its advertised neonatologist on site said her lawyer.

A caesarean section was performed to deliver the baby. The baby’s mother and the nurse both saw a pool of blood on the bed during the delivery and the court documents states the baby’s heart rate was nonexistent.

In case filed documents it states the staff at the hospital tried to reach Myers on his cellphone a various times. The hospital staff was able to get a hold of one of Myers associates and they came to Palos to oversea the care of the baby. In the end Myers was reached at his home and in 20 minutes made it to the hospital.

Ball said one of Myers’ associates ordered blood to be delivered for the baby but had to order more because it wasn’t enough and their was a delay in arrival.

In court documents it states the baby was in a “guarded” position while moved from Palos to the Advocate Children’s Hospital. The baby was in the neonatal intensive unit for 9 months.

Myers left his cellphone and pager at the hospital after he was done changing and on his way home from the neonatal intensive care unit “for the first and only time in 41 years” said Michael Huber, the attorney representing Myers.

“Dr. Myers made no excuses for his one-time human failing,” according to the attorney.

Huber said Drew experienced a fetal vessel rupture which cause her to lose 60 percent of her blood supply. Also, before she was delivered for 21 there was no heartbeat and had no signs of life once she was delivered.

“That combination caused massive brain damage before delivery,” said the attorney.

The lawyer noted that his client is a neonatologist and “only care for babies after they are delivered,” he added there was “no causal connection” with the girl’s brain damage and his client.

Before the case went to trial Huber had made a settlement offer of $2 million, which was identical to the verdict against Myers.

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