Maryville doctors call allegations in suit alleging infant suffered brain injury ‘simply untrue’

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Dec 3, 2018

Two Maryville doctors argue that summary judgment is appropriate in a mother’s lawsuit alleging her infant son suffered a brain injury after he was deprived of oxygen.

A motion hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4 at 9 a.m. with Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian.

However, as previously reported, Matoesian has been off the bench for unspecified reasons since Labor Day. Chief Judge David Hylla is currently handling Matoesian's docket. 

Lauren K. Reed filed her lawsuit on June 5, 2014, against Southwestern Illinois Health Facilities, doing business as Anderson Hospital, Granite City Clinic Corporation, doing business as Meridian Ob/Gyn Associates, Dr. Kevin Scharff and Dr. Dennis Hurford.


Hayek  

According to the complaint, Reed alleges doctors at Anderson Hospital and Meridian failed to timely intubate one of her twin sons, Griffin Allen Reed, causing him to be deprived of sufficient oxygen after his delivery. As a result, she claims the boy suffered a hypoxic brain injury.

Reed claims her son lost his enjoyment of a normal life, suffered disfigurement, disability, pain and impaired earning capacity. She also claims he suffers from an inability to become adequately educated.

Reed accuses the doctors of negligence for failing to refer her to a perinatologist during her pregnancy, failing to take her off Zoloft, failing to ensure her evaluation by a perinatologist and failing to ensure the timely availability of an individual to intubate her son, the suit states.

Scharff filed a motion for summary judgment on Oct. 31 through attorney Thomas J. Hayek of Behr McCarter & Potter PC in St. Louis.

He argues that the plaintiff’s allegation that a medical provider capable of intubating her child was not present at the time of his delivery is “simply untrue.”

Scharff alleges “a team of healthcare providers, from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, capable of intubating minor plaintiff, were in fact, present at the minor plaintiff’s delivery.”

He argues that Anderson Hospital provided pediatrician Dr. Ambereen Alam from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in addition to members of Anderson Hospital’s labor and delivery nursing staff. He adds that Alam and the nursing staff provided immediate care to the child as soon as he was delivered.

“Multiple members of pediatric team present were capable of intubating minor plaintiff and, in fact, did intubate minor plaintiff immediately following delivery, as is confirmed by the delivery note …” the motion states.

Scharff also argues that the case has been pending for four years and the plaintiffs have failed to provide factual evidence to support the opinions critical of the care provided by the defendant.

“Plaintiff has not deposed any defendant healthcare provider, and does not have a qualified expert to testify that a deviation from the standard of care occurred based upon the factual scenario of the minor plaintiff’s intubation,” the motion states.

Hurford also filed a motion for summary judgment on Oct. 31 through Hayek.

In the complaint, Reed alleges Hurford failed to refer her to a perinatologist during her pregnancy and failed to take her off of Zoloft.

However, Hurford argues that Reed was referred to a perinatologist, who then evaluated and treated her.

Hurford argues that records from Reed’s first prenatal visit on Dec. 23, 2012, show that he planned to have her evaluated by a perinatologist at 16-18 weeks of her pregnancy. On Feb. 8, 2012, Hurford referred Reed to Dr. Dorothy Mostello, a perinatologist at SSM Maternal and Fetal Care Center.

Reed was evaluated by Mostello on Feb. 28, 2012, and returned for a follow-up visit and ultrasound on May 4, 2012, the motion states.

Hurford also alleges her use of Zoloft was discussed on several occasions with multiple healthcare providers, including the perinatologist.

He argues that Mostello recommended Reed continue taking Zoloft, because the risks of continued use were outweighed by the benefits.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-823

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