Family awarded $53M 12 years after son allegedly suffers brain damage at birth

ByLaura Podesta WLS logo
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Family awarded $53M 12 years after son suffers brain damage at birth
A family has been awarded $53 million after the 2004 birth of a boy at University of Chicago Hospital allegedly resulted in the child?s brain damage.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A family has been awarded $53 million after the 2004 birth of a boy at University of Chicago Hospital allegedly resulted in the child's brain damage.

When Isaiah Ewing was born April 20, 2004, the birth went horribly wrong. Isaiah suffered a severe brain injury after 12 hours in fetal distress.

It was alleged in the medical malpractice lawsuit that nurses and physicians ignored his mother, Lisa, for hours while she was in the hospital and in desperate need of a C-section, resulting in Isaiah going into fetal distress. His mom says in court the hospital had a different story.

"I was very surprised in court, the lack of remorse, the lies they were telling. I was very shocked," Lisa Ewing said.

Isaiah Ewing has the brain function of a child much younger than his 12 years. He cannot walk. He cannot form complete sentences.

"I laid there - no one came to check on me. No one - I thought I was getting the best care. I wasn't," Lisa Ewing said.

Lisa Ewing says she never received an apology or an explanation when her son was born with severe defects.

"The University of Chicago's arrogance in this case is shocking. Arrogance - and their attempt to convince a jury their own records were wrong, that their own records didn't reflect what happened to Isaiah," said Geoffrey Fieger, attorney for the family.

Court records show the jury wanted to allocate money to go toward Isaiah's past and future medical expenses, the loss of a normal life, and shortened life expectancy.

Isaiah's mom said at a Thursday press conference that while she was always going to take care of her son to the best of her ability, this $53 million settlement will allow him to live the best life possible, even when she's gone.

The University of Chicago has released a statement saying:

"We have great sympathy for Isaiah Ewing and his family. We strongly disagree with the jury's verdict and believe Mr. Fieger's conduct influenced the decision.

Judge Kirby declined to enter judgement on the verdict, as there are pending motions for mistrial based on assertions of Mr. Fieger's improper conduct.

Mr. Fieger's conduct in other cases has resulted in overturned verdicts and revocation of his permission to appear in court in several states. For example, the Michigan Appellate Court stated Mr. Fieger's tactics were 'an attempt to incite the jury to heap upon the defendant the moral outrage that is now reserved for the Nazis. It was a naked appeal to passion and prejudice and an attempt to divert the jury from the facts and the law relevant to the case.'

The facts as presented by nationally recognized experts demonstrated:

  • Isaiah and his mother were treated for infection

  • Infection is a recognized cause of cerebral palsy.

  • Isaiah was born with normal oxygen blood levels, meaning there was no oxygen deprivation.

  • Isaiah's injury occurred before the care Mr. Fieger criticized.

Our mission has and always will be to give the best care possible.

We trust the judicial system and wholeheartedly support the doctors and nurses who are committed to our patients and work tirelessly to help sick or injured children every day."