Negligence in death of baby found

Jury says hospital failed to safeguard health of premature boy in '98

October 26, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore Circuit Court jury decided that Harbor Hospital should pay almost $2.4 million to a Baltimore County couple for the wrongful death of one of the couple's triplets, who died about seven weeks after he was born.

Che Allen Taylor, who was born Oct. 19, 1998, was suffocating in his mother's womb and should have been delivered days earlier, the baby's parents said in a lawsuit. The jury listened to seven days of testimony and deliberated for five hours Thursday night before awarding the sum.

"I was so happy to know that other people looked at all the evidence and said, `This was not supposed to happen,'" said Che's mother, Tracy Crew-Taylor, 32, a corrections officer in Baltimore.

Hospital spokeswoman Christine Hagan said hospital lawyers are reviewing the decision.

Crew-Taylor's lawyers, Mark S. Cohen and Gary A. Wais, said the hospital was negligent because doctors failed to tell Crew-Taylor when she arrived at the hospital Oct. 17 that delivering Che could have helped him.

At the time, Che was at 30 weeks of gestation and doctors found his heart rate and oxygen supply were extremely low. The other two triplets, both girls, were fine.

"The doctor never informed the parents of the possibility of delivery," Cohen said.

Che's condition deteriorated, prompting doctors to deliver the triplets by Caesarean section two days later.

Che spent the next few weeks in and out of hospitals because of asphyxia, or severe lack of oxygen, and related problems. He died Dec. 6.

The two girls were born healthy and live with their parents in Baltimore County. Crew-Taylor said she thinks about her son every day.

"It was really the most excruciating thing to me," she said. "One moment I'm laying out clothes for him, the next moment I'm hunting for something for him to be buried in."

Maryland law limits the amount of money a plaintiff can collect for pain and suffering, meaning the Taylors will likely receive about $1.7 million, not the $2.4 million the jury awarded, Cohen said.

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