By Jim Hannah, Enquirer staff writer
COVINGTON – The mother of a child born with brain damage lost a $120 million medical malpractice lawsuit Wednesday in Kenton Circuit Court.
A jury deliberated about eight hours before returning a nine to three verdict in favor of St. Elizabeth Medical Center South and Dr. Jerald Furer.
The decision ended the five-week trial inwhichGeoffreyFieger, a Michigan lawyer best known for representing assisted-suicide proponent Dr. Jack Kevorkian, presented the case on behalf of the mother and girl.
“The jurors got it and made the right decision,” said the hospital’s lawyer, Dave Kramer. “Having this innocent brain-damaged child is a tragic case that would evoke sympathy from anyone, but the jury focused on the issue of medical care.”
Jim Triona of Milford represented Furer, who no longer practices at the Edgewood hospital.
Fieger and the child’s mother, Patricia Emro, could not be reached for comment after the verdict.
Candice, now 8, was brought to the courtroom in a wheelchair during some of Tuesday’s proceedings. The brain damage has left her with little control over her body.
During delivery in September 1998, the placenta prematurely erupted from the uterus, depriving Candice’s brain of oxygen. Doctors delivered the child 18 minutes later by an emergency Caesarean section. The defendants argued that was well within the accepted practice of 30 minutes, and the complication was unforeseen.
“We proved the hospital met the standard of care,” Kramer said.
Fieger argued that the doctors should have acted sooner, when a fetal monitor detected a decline in the baby’s heartbeat.« Back to news