Denice Cisneros was admitted to a hospital in labor. Family physician Mark Simon managed the delivery with assistance from registered nurse Danielle Penman. Cisneros remained in the second stage of labor for several hours, but her baby did not descend beyond zero station. Despite fetal distress—including variable decelerations and fetal bradycardia—Cisneros continued to attempt a vaginal delivery.
Cisneros’s daughter was subsequently delivered by emergency cesarean section. Her Apgar scores were one at one minute and three at five minutes. She was diagnosed as having suffered hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, resulting in cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Now 10, she requires special education and other accommodations.
Cisneros, individually and on behalf of her daughter, sued the hospital, Simon, and Penman, alleging failure to timely discontinue the vaginal delivery and perform a cesarean section before the baby experienced prolonged oxygen deprivation. Among other things, the plaintiffs charged that Simon failed to timely reevaluate Cisneros’s progress during the second stage of labor or recommend a cesarean section after observing signs of fetal distress. Suit also alleged that Penman failed to timely notify Cisneros’s treating physicians of her failure to progress and that both Simon and Penman failed to diagnose cephalopelvic disproportion or the baby’s posterior presentation.
The parties settled before trial for $6.5 million, paid by the defendants’ insurers.
Citation: Cisneros v. Advoc. Health & Hosps. Corp., No. 05 L 000488 (Ill., Cook Co. Cir. Nov. 24, 2010).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member John J. Perconti and Patricia Gifford, both of Chicago.