Angela in the News
Jury awards boys family $4.2 million
By Dave Daley
A Milwaukee Circuit Court jury has awarded $4.2 million to the family
of a 9-year old boy whose attorneys argued the boy now suffers from
cerebral palsy and mental retardation because a physician and local
hospital did not provide proper care at the time of his birth.
The boy, Joseph Silva, suffered brain damage during labor and delivery
and the old Family Hospital and now has a ;mental age comparable to that
of a 4- or 5-year old child, said the familys attorney, M. Angela
The jury heard from 17 expert witnesses during the 3 week trial that
ended Thursday, when, after only five hours of deliberation, the jury
awarded Josephs parents, Socorro and Geronimo Silva, $4,279,458, Dentice
The family had sued both the delivering physician, Mohammad Shafi, and
Family Hospital, at 2711 Wells St., which later became St. Anthonys
Family medical Center.
Dentice said she presented evidence in court that after Mrs. Silva
arrived at Family Hospital, the fetal heart monitor recording the heart
rate of Joseph showed a pattern indicative of fetal distress.
Evidence showed that after repeated phone calls from the nurse to
Shafi, the doctor finally arrived at the hospital but it was still
another two hours before he delivered Joseph, Dentice said.
After his birth, Joseph was resuscitated and taken by ambulance to St.
Josephs Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Dentice said.
Although medical negligence still remains the most difficult area of
litigation for plaintiffs, if the facts support a finding of negligence,
and if you fight hard enough, favorable verdicts for injured parties can
be obtained, Dentice said after the verdict.
This verdict ensures that Joseph will have adequate care for the rest
of his life.
Dentice said she did not know of appeals were planned.
Shafi made headlines in 1984 when the head of Family Hospital asked him to stop performing abortions in space he rented in the hospital after a right-to-life group picketed the hospital.