March 1, 2004 - $8.5 Million Settlement in Cerebral Palsy Case

A woman who claimed her son was born with cerebral palsy because a doctor waited too long to deliver him reached an $ 8.5 million settlement with the hospital Monday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Alma DeJesus alleged that attending physician Vijay Arekapudi of Illinois Masonic Medical Center waited five hours to deliver Daniel DeJesus by Caesarean section, even though DeJesus had arrived at the hospital complaining that she could not feel the baby move, said DeJesus' lawyer, Susan E. Loggans of Susan E. Loggans & Associates P.C.

Loggans said the delay caused the child, who at the age of 4 walks with ankle braces, to develop cerebral palsy.

Arekapudi settled with DeJesus for $ 2 million just before the case went to trial Feb. 23 before Cook County Circuit Judge Cheryl A. Starks.

Hospital officials asserted that the baby had already developed cerebral palsy and that the delay had no effect on the child's health, said William V. Bell of Johnson & Bell, who represented Illinois Masonic.

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