Jury: Doctor negligent in newborn death

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A doctor’s negligence contributed to the death of a three-day-old infant, a jury decided Wednesday, going on to say that the family deserved a $1.25 million settlement.

A juror told 24 Hour News 8 the vote was six to two in favor of the parents of the child.

According to court documents the infant, Sage Gilbert, was born prematurely in June 2009 at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

Sage was admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit, and while there, a nurse incorrectly inserted a catheter into the girl’s heart, the documents showed.

The catheter was meant to deliver nutrition to the baby.

Three days later, Sage died.

An autopsy said there was fluid in the sac that surrounded Sage’s heart, but the cause of her death was undetermined.

The lawsuit was not against St. Mary’s or Trinity Health; the hospital settled with the family without going to trial.

Instead, the suit was against Kent Radiology and a doctor who was employed by them at the time – Dr. Darrel Rosen. Rosen passed away in 2012.

The suit alleged that Rosen didn’t notice the catheter was in the baby’s heart, didn’t tell anyone caring for the infant and didn’t recommend more x-rays to make sure the catheter was in the right place.

A juror, who did not want to be identified, told 24 Hour News 8 that Rosen played “a very small part, and that was the hardest part, trying to figure out if he would have done his job properly would it have been prevented and we believe, the majority [of us believe it] would have.”

The juror said that the parents of the baby told her after the verdict, “they had stated quite clearly that it was not the money they were looking for, they wanted closure, and they got their closure. They got it to where they had told me it was something that they just needed, we needed someone else to validate our feelings on the case.”

The attorney for the child’s family, John Tallman, initially agreed to an interview with 24 Hour News 8, but canceled hours later, saying a settlement agreement with Kent Radiology included a confidentiality agreement, so neither he nor the family could speak with the media.

Calls to Kent Radiology and its attorney were not returned Thursday.

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