COMMENTARY

Could This Tort Reform Proposal Work?; Where Caps Stand; More

Wayne J. Guglielmo, MA

Disclosures

April 24, 2014

In This Article

Negligence Contributes to Baby's Death, Jury Says

Last month, a Grand Rapids jury awarded a couple, Christopher and Angelina Gilbert, $1.25 million in the 2009 death of their infant daughter, according to a story posted on MLive, Michigan's largest local media organization.[4] The defendants in the case were Kent Radiology, in Grand Rapids, and the estate of former Kent radiologist Darrel Rosen, who died in May 2012, 4 months before the lawsuit was filed.

Although the Gilberts' daughter, Sage, was born premature on June 4, 2009, she was otherwise healthy and being fed through an umbilical venous catheter, which had been inserted by a nurse practitioner and then X-rayed to verify its proper placement. But despite images "showing the catheter tip was in [the infant's] heart," the Gilberts claimed in their suit, Rosen "reported there were no abnormalities." The baby died 3 days later.

Although inconclusive, an autopsy found "20 mL of the TPN feeding solution within the sac surrounding [the infant's] heart. Both of her lungs had partially or completely collapsed."

The jury found that Rosen's actions -- his failure to review the radiograph properly or notify colleagues of the faulty catheter placement -- didn't lead directly to the baby's death. But, it said, "his failure to do so constituted negligence" and contributed to the girl's death.

The parties reached a settlement agreement, which precludes the defendants from appealing.

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