Lawyers: $9M settlement for boy’s cerebral palsy


HONOLULU — Attorneys for a Virginia boy with cerebral palsy say his family and the Honolulu military hospital where he was born reached a tentative $9 million settlement.

The amount, put on the record in federal court in Honolulu on Monday, is subject to final approval by the U.S. Department of Justice, said Loretta Sheehan, one of the family’s attorneys.

According to the family’s lawsuit, Noah Whitney was born in 2010 at Tripler Army Medical Center with “catastrophic brain injury” because of medical negligence.

Allegations in the lawsuit included failing to respond appropriately to signs and symptoms of uterine rupture and taking too long to perform a cesarean section. Laura Whitney arrived at the hospital Sept. 7, 2010, with severe lower abdominal pain at about 35 weeks of pregnancy. The pregnancy was closely monitored because of previous miscarriages and the complicated birth of her first child, Evan.

The mother “was at risk for uterine rupture in connection with future pregnancies, including her pregnancy with Noah,” according to the lawsuit filed in July 2012. The lawsuit alleges there was a “failure to promptly notify and consult the obstetrician who had been managing” the pregnancy.

The lawsuit blamed the hospital for Noah’s severe brain injury and said he “will require 24 hour per day care for the remainder of his life.”

A Tripler spokeswoman declined to comment. The assistant U.S. Attorney representing the government didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Sheehan said $5 million will be paid as a lump-sum. The remaining $4 million will be paid throughout the remainder of Noah’s life.

 

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