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Woman Gets $4.4M in Hospital Suit

July 27, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A jury awarded $4.4 million to a woman who said her newborn baby suffered brain damage because hospital staff didn’t respond quickly enough when monitors showed that the fetus had problems.

Ina Hutchinson sued Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, saying personnel should have called an obstetrician sooner.

She said her 6-year-old son, Christopher Patterson, is profoundly retarded, incontinent, has to use a wheelchair and has limited ability to speak. He was delivered at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 1992.

``A phone call would have prevented this tragic outcome,″ Jerome L. Ringler, the lead plaintiff’s attorney, said in a story published in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Hospital attorney Michael A. O’Flaherty said he will appeal the verdict, reached Thursday.

He said evidence showed Christopher’s brain was damaged before his mother got to the hospital, and the judge did not allow the hospital to present key evidence that its employees followed proper procedure.

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