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Reading Hospital Settles $32.5M Birth Injury Lawsuit

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Reading Hospital will settle a Philadelphia birth injury lawsuit for $32.5M.

West Reading, PAA birth injury lawsuit filed in 2022 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas alleging medical malpractice has been settled for $32.5 million with Reading Hospital. The medical malpractice complaint involved several medical errors that a jury was set to hear before the settlement was reached last month. Tragically, the now 5-year-old boy suffers from permanent neurological injuries: He is nonverbal, cortically blind, has cerebral palsy and has to be tube-fed. And he will need around-the-clock care for the rest of his life.

The mother, Miranda Garcia, was 39 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to Reading Hospital in late September 2018. According to the lawsuit, the obstetrical care team acted with gross and reckless negligence. Before the delivery, the hospital failed to identify and respond to an intra-amniotic infection (called chorioamnionitis) that Garcia contracted. They did not provide antibiotics despite evidence of infection and failed to perform an emergency caesarean section when the electronic monitors showed that the baby, known as D.O., had a ‘non-reassuring fetal heat pattern’ which carried with it a risk of oxygen deprivation. Court documents state that monitors indicated signs of fetal distress, and this should have resulted in an earlier delivery to avoid oxygen deprivation. Instead, Reading’s labor and delivery team, led by defendant obstetrician Dominic Cammarano, used forceps and a vacuum extractor in an attempt to deliver him.

That decision caused D.O. to sustain Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain before or shortly after birth. Further, after D.O.’s birth, the medical team failed to provide the infant with therapeutic hypothermia--a type of treatment to lower the body temperature that tries to reduce injury and long-term problems.

But the hospital and many doctors named in the suit said the allegations are conclusory. The hospital argued that Garcia had not shown evidence of the alleged infection and that the clinical circumstances of the case did not indicate that therapeutic hypothermia was appropriate. As well, D.O.’s umbilical cord blood gas at birth had been normal. According to, the defendant’s pretrial memo stated, “Normal cord blood gasses rule out hypoxia-ischemia in the period just before birth and rule out the impact of labor related events.” 

The plaintiff’s lawyer said that the claim that Reading Hospital failed to provide D.O. with therapeutic hypothermia “provided a path for the jury to find for the plaintiff even if they rejected the labor and delivery claim.” He further said serious settlement negotiations did not begin until about a week before trial, with the hospital offering $25 million by the time the trial began. And “sometimes it still takes an awaiting jury to push the parties to settle”.

Tower Health, which operates Reading Hospital, said in a statement: "We value and respect the privacy of the family involved in this lawsuit. To avoid a protracted public trial and the potential distress it could cause all parties, a resolution was reached without any admission of fault or liability by any healthcare providers at Reading Hospital. Consistent with our longstanding policy, we do not comment on the specifics of litigation."


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