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Hospital told to pay $17 mil. for brain damage

Dec 18, 2005 | Chicago Sun Times A Cook County jury Thursday ordered St. Anthony Hospital to pay $17 million in damages to the family of a 7-year-old girl born with severe brain damage and cerebral palsy after an obstetrician delayed her delivery, lawyers for the plaintiffs said.

A medical malpractice suit filed on behalf of the girl alleged the in-house obstetrician, Dr. Jacques Hercule, was negligent for waiting 20 to 25 minutes to perform an emergency Caesarean section on the girl's mother, Selene Araujo, who suffered a seizure during labor in 1998.

'I started crying'

The girl, 7-year-old Evelyn Araujo, was born with severe developmental problems that will likely require a lifetime of medical treatment and therapy, according to a statement issued by Anastopoulo & Clore, the South Carolina-based law firm representing the Araujo family.

Selene Araujo said she was pleased with the jury's decision.

"I started crying when I heard," she said. "It's for my daughter, and she's going to be able to have a better life."

The hospital would not disclose whether any disciplinary action had been taken against Hercule.

"We sympathize with the family involved in this case. While a verdict has been rendered, the parties have agreed to a confidential settlement," said St. Anthony President and CEO Kathleen DeVine in a statement.

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