Attorneys Jack Beam and Matthew Patterson of the Chicago law firm Beam Legal Team, LLC have announced a global $21 million settlement on behalf of Alayna Hike, a three-year-old child with severe brain damage she suffered during her delivery at a Suburban Chicago Hospital. $15 million dollars of the settlement is being paid by the USA under the Federal Tort Claims Act, as certain of the delivering doctors were considered federal employees under the Act and were represented by the government in the case. The settlement was approved by the Honorable John Z. Lee, of the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois on November 12, 2019 and the case was dismissed.
Alayna Hike was born on December 2, 2016 with severe brain damage from a lack of oxygen she suffered during a placental abruption which occurred during her mother’s high-risk, yet unmonitored labor. On December 1, in early labor, Alayna’s mother came to a Suburban Chicago Hospital which was staffed in part with family practice physicians overseeing the labor department. Alayna’s mother was an extremely high-risk patient having had ten previous children and a diagnosis of severe preeclampsia, a dangerous hypertensive disease in pregnancy. Despite the high-risk labor status, Alayna’s mother never saw an obstetrician or maternal-fetal medicine specialist throughout the admission; instead, she and Alayna were treated solely by family practice doctors, some of who were not even permitted to perform C-sections at the Hospital.
There was consensus of all experts in the case that since Alayna’s mother was so high-risk, the standard of care required continuous electronic fetal monitoring to ensure Alayna’s well-being during the labor admission. Despite that requirement and orders for continuous monitoring being placed, the doctors and nurses at the hospital failed to appropriately use continuous monitoring. As a result, the Alayna’s heart rate went unchecked until it was discovered to be a terminal bradycardia just after midnight on December 2, 2016. By the time the emergency C-section was finally completed, it was too late and Alayna had suffered catastrophic brain injury due a lack of oxygen from her mother’s placental abruption, which went undetected by the negligent doctors and nurses due to the failure to monitor.
Mr. Beam stated “The fact that no obstetrician ever attended this mother and baby is an outrage. That should never happen.”
Today, Alayna is nearly three years old and has been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, and a severe seizure disorder which requires her to be cared for 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Without the financial resources necessary to provide for her to date, Alayna has been totally reliant upon her mother and adolescent siblings to care for her for these last three incredibly difficult years. However, due to the settlement achieved by her legal team, Alayna and her family will now have the resources necessary to provide her a safe home, attendant care, and other much needed medical and nursing care for the rest of her life.
Alayna was also represented by Geoffrey Fieger, nationally renowned trial attorney from Southfield, Michigan.
Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers
Our birth injury lawyers are committed to helping individuals in complex legal matters. We work hard to protect families in birth injury matters because any harm done to a baby can be daunting to experience.
At Beam Legal Team, we’re not afraid of a challenge. We don’t back down from medical facilities when doctors, nurses, and others are negligent. Trust in our team to be the guides you need throughout the process so you can have peace of mind.