A Norwalk couple was awarded $58.6 million Wednesday, a record for a single incident of medical malpractice in Connecticut, in a case involving an obstetrician accused of waiting too long to perform a cesarean section and a boy who was permanently brain-damaged.
The jury at Superior Court in Waterbury sided with Domenic and Cathy D’Attilo, whose son Daniel, now 8, has had severe cerebral palsy since he was born on Feb. 2, 2003. He is fed through a tube, uses a wheelchair, is unable to eat, talk, or walk, and is incontinent.
“When my son was born, he was born not breathing, blue, limp,” said Cathy D’Attilo, the mother who sued her obstetrician, Dr. Richard Viscarello, and his practice, Stamford-based Maternal-Fetal Care PC. “He had seizures; he was on a ventilator. So, we knew something terrible had happened to Daniel.”
D’Attilo, her husband, and her son said in their lawsuit that Viscarello did not perform timely incisions to relieve the upper uterine area, delayed the cesarean section, didn’t create space for an atraumatic delivery, and caused a delay in the delivery that led to permanent brain damage.
“It was discovered that he had lost oxygen to his brain, and suffered a brain injury,” D’Attilo said. The defendant’s attorney, James Rosenblum of Rosenblum Newfield LLC in Stamford, said he will appeal if Judge Kevin Dubay allows the jury’s decision to stand. “He followed the rules, and the jury ignored that,” Rosenblum said of the doctor.
The jury awarded the D’Attilos $8.6 million in economic damages for past and future care of their son, which is the amount their attorneys requested and demonstrated in court. The jury also awarded $50 million in non-economic damages, which was at the jury’s discretion. Additionally, there’s a possibility of interest, which attorneys familiar with insurance law said adds up to millions more.
Daniel is Cathy D’Attilo’s only child. Her husband, Domenic, has a daughter from a previous marriage. The couple had tried for six years to have a baby before resorting to in-vitro fertilization. “It was a long road just to get pregnant,” Cathy D’Attilo said.
Daniel is now a full-time job for his mother. “Pretty much everything is dedicated and surrounded around Danny and his needs, and we do them with pleasure because he’s our son. We love him,” she said.
The now second-highest single-incident medical malpractice award in Connecticut also involved an obstetrician delivering a baby in 2003 at Stamford Hospital.
In 2008, a Stamford jury awarded $38.5 million in a lawsuit that found obstetrician Corinne de Cholnoky liable for waiting too long before she performed a cesarean section to deliver the second child in a pair of twins for Elizabeth Oram, according to the Connecticut Law Tribune. The first child, Emma, was fine, but the second child, Spencer, had severe brain damage from the delivery, according to the Law Tribune.
In that case, the doctor named Stamford Hospital as an apportionment defendant. She alleged that the anesthesiologist and operating-room nurses slowed the cesarean delivery, according to the Law Tribune. That case is under appeal, said Rosenblum, who represents that defendant, too. Daniel D’Attilo was delivered on Feb. 2, 2003, and Oram’s child, Spencer, was delivered two months later on April 4, 2003.
But in the D’Attilos case, attorneys on both sides agree there is no connection to Stamford Hospital. The hospital declined to comment because it was not named as a defendant in the case.
The attorney for the D’Attilos, Kathleen Nastri of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder in Bridgeport, said, “Stamford Hospital was a defendant in our case and we withdrew against Stamford Hospital because it appeared clear to everyone that they had not done anything wrong.”
“And in the de Cholnoky case, Stamford was in the case through the verdict, and the jury found in their favor,” Nastri said. “So, there is no criticism implicit or explicit in either case.”
Rosenblum said the theme in the two cases is that children with brain injuries are used to sway juries into awarding millions of dollars, a phenomenon that has been playing out in courtrooms for decades across the nation.
“The main parallel is that the jury goes ballistic,” Rosenblum said
By Matthew Sturdevant, Hartford Courant
At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury. Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating a personal injury claim, medical malpractice claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com
Keyword: Injury, personal injury, claim, personal injury claim, personal injury claims, personal injury claim attorney, injury attorneys, personal injury attorney, personal injury attorneys, injury attorney, personal injury lawsuit, personal injury lawyer, personal injury lawyers, injury lawyer, accident injury attorney, personal injury law firm, law firm, personal injury law, legal advice, legal office, Maya Murphy, www.Mayalaw.com, New York personal injury attorney, Connecticut personal injury attorney, Connecticut injury attorney, Westport personal injury attorney, Fairfield personal injury attorney, Fairfield personal injury lawyer, Westport personal injury lawyer, personal injury attorney in, tort lawyer, tort attorney, tort lawyer Fairfield county, find an attorney, how to find an attorney, work injury attorney, injury settlement, personal injury settlement, personal injury settlements, tort settlements, lawyers, lawyer, attorney, attorneys, attorneys in ct, New York, New York City, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, Weston, Fairfield County, accident lawsuit, accident lawyers, accident attorney, accident injury lawyer, airplane crash attorney, Airplane injury lawyer, amputation lawyer, arm amputation lawyer, Auto Accident Death, auto accident injury attorney, accident injury attorney, auto accident injury lawyer, auto accident injury lawyers, auto accident settlement, car accident settlement attorney, auto crash attorney, auto crash lawyer, auto crash lawyers, auto injury lawyer, auto wreck attorney, automobile accident death, automobile accident lawyer, automobile accident lawyers, aviation attorney, aviation lawyer, back injury lawyer, best car accident lawyer, best car accident lawyers, bicycle accident lawyer, big rig accident lawyer, big rig truck accident, boat accident lawyer, boat accidents, brain injury lawyers, brain damage lawsuit, brain damage lawyer, brain damage lawyers, car accident, car accident claim, car accident death, car accident help, car accident injury lawyer, car accident injury lawyers, car accidents lawyer, car collision lawyer, car collision lawyers, car crash death, Car Crash Injury, car crash injury lawyer, car crash lawyer, car crash lawyers, car wreck lawyer, car wreck lawyers, child birth death, construction accident lawyer, construction accidents lawyer, death by car accident, death by motorcycle accident, dog bite lawyer, animal bite attorney, defective products lawyer, product liability attorney, products liability lawyer, elder abuse attorney, elder abuse lawyer, fatal auto accident, fatal car accident, fatal car accident lawyer, fatal forklift accident, fatal injury lawyer, fatal truck accident, head injury lawyer, helicopter crash lawyer, highway accident lawyer, highway accidents, medical malpractice attorneys, medical malpractice lawyers, malpractice attorney, hospital injury attorney, medical injury lawyer, medical injury attorney, motor vehicle accident, motor vehicle accident lawyer, motor vehicle accident attorneys, negligence lawyer, negligent injury attorney, lawyer for car accident, lawyers for car accident, pedestrian injuries, personal injury help, Personal Injury Law, premise liability attorney, premise liability lawyer, plane crash lawyer, rig truck accident lawyer, renter attorney, landlord attorney, road traffic accidents, rollover accident, RV accident, RV injury lawyer, slip and fall, slip and fall lawyer, slip and fall attorneys, school bus accident, serious car injury lawyer, truck accident, truck crash lawyer, truck wreck lawyer, trucking accident lawyer, trucking accident lawyers, trucking accidents lawyer, vehicle rollover, whiplash neck injuries, whiplash settlement, Wrongful Death attorney, Wrongful Death attorneys, Wrongful Death Claim, wrongful death complaint,