Child born with cerebral palsy from hospital birth injury awarded $53 million verdict by Illinois jury

by Charles Miller

A jury in Illinois has awarded a $53 million verdict to the family of a 12 year old boy who was born with a serious brain injury at the University of Chicago Medical Center. The lawsuit—filed by mother Lisa Ewing on behalf of her son, Isaiah—alleged that the boy was born with severe cerebral palsy as a result of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice during his delivery at the Chicago Medical Center.

The Ewing’s birth injury lawsuit alleged that when Lisa Ewing arrived at the Chicago Medical Center to deliver her son, she informed the hospital staff that the fetus was moving less than it had earlier in her pregnancy—a possible sign of fetal distress. However, the Ewing’s lawyer stated that because the Medical Center was staffed by student residents at the early morning hours when Lisa Ewing was admitted, staff members failed to take immediate steps to deliver the baby.

According to the lawsuit, Lisa Ewing waited at the hospital more than 12 hours before doctors performed an emergency C-section. Isaiah Ewing was not breathing after he was delivered. The baby was rushed to the neonatal unit at the Chicago Medical Center where he was revived, placed on life support, and kept in critical care for four weeks following the delivery.

The Ewing’s lawsuit alleged that Chicago Medical Center doctors and nurses committed about 20 medical errors during the delivery process, causing him to be suffocated at birth. These medical errors included failure to perform a timely C-section when Lisa arrived at the hospital, failure to properly monitor the health of the mother and fetus, failure to detect an abnormal heart rate indicating hypoxia (drop in oxygen supply) and other signs of distress to the fetus, failure to obtain accurate blood tests, and failure to follow the chain of command during the delivery process.

The lawsuit alleged that as a result of these errors, Isaiah Ewing was born with cerebral palsy, a condition caused by damage to the brain that can occur during the delivery process. The Ewings also alleged that as a result of Isaiah’s brain injury, he will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and will require care from his mother in order to feed and clothe himself.

After four hours of deliberation, a Cook County jury found unanimously in favor of the Ewings. The jury awarded the family a total of $53 million, including $28.8 million for future caretaking expenses and $7.2 million for future medical expenses. The verdict was the highest ever awarded for a birth injury case in Cook County.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson and Birth Injury Lawsuits

Thousands of children are born every year with birth injuries in the U.S. Many of these cases involve negligence on the part of doctors, staff, or medical facilities where the child was born. In order to successfully file a personal injury, medical malpractice, or wrongful death claim on behalf of a child who has suffered birth injuries, parents need an attorney with the experience and financial resources to take their case to trial.

If your child was born with birth injuries that you believe were caused by the negligence of doctors, nurses, hospital staff, or the medical facilities where the baby was born, please contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about where you may qualify to file a lawsuit on behalf of your baby. For a free legal consultation, please call toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or simply follow the link to our free case evaluation form and answer a few simple questions to get started.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

Charles Attorney Headshot

by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.