Angela in the News

Jury awards boys family $4.2 million

Improper delivery care blamed in 9-year olds brain damage

By Dave Daley
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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 Dentice.

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 said.

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.

 

 

 

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