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May 10, 2002 - Mom Awarded $8.5 Million

A jury has awarded $8.5 million to a woman who claimed Rochester General Hospital caused irreparable damage to her baby by botching the delivery.

Angela.phproules of Rochester, 22, sued the hospital in state Supreme Court, alleging that doctors and midwives underestimated the size of her baby when they allowed her pregnancy to go beyond the 42-week gestation period. When the baby boy was born Oct, 1, 1997, the hospital should have known that he was too big to fit through the birth canal, but he was delivered that way anyway, the lawsuit claimed. He was deprived of oxygen and, as a result, the baby, Yakeim Donald, was born with severe brain damage. Now at 4 years old, he has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He cannot speak or walk.

All the warning signs were there that this wasn't going to be a healthy delivery through the vagina," said the plaintiff's attorney. When the jury reached its verdict, it awarded much more than the $6.2 million requested by the plaintiff. Janine DeCook, a spokeswoman for Rochester General, said the hospital was disappointed with the jury's decision but declined further comment. The hospital is considering an appeal.

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