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Patrick Salvi II: Cook County Jury Awards $75.8 Million To Little Girl Who Suffered Brain Damage, Physical Injuries At Birth

by Lauren Wakeman Firm News
February 27, 2024

CHICAGO (February 26, 2024) – A Cook County jury has awarded $75,859,000 to a young girl who suffered a brain injury and severe physical injuries at birth and will need lifelong care. The Plaintiff was represented by Matthew L. WilliamsPatrick A. Salvi IIand Heidi L. Wickstrom of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

On February 12, 2018, 37-year-old Tanita Housen arrived at the University of Chicago Hospital to give birth to twins. Prior to her arrival, all ultrasound testing, pre-natal testing, office visits, and assessments of both twins indicated each were healthy with no signs of any fetal distress.

At 5:35 p.m. on February 13, Tanita gave birth to a baby boy, Nasir, without any issues or complications. After he was born, the second baby, Hannah, was still doing fine, with her head face down and floating, meaning her head had not yet engaged in the pelvis. The physicians handling the delivery, including a fourth-year resident and her attending physician, Dr. Perpetua Goodall, decided to try and turn the baby from head down to breech, or feet first.  While the resident was attempting to turn Hannahmedical records suggested mom was in “significant pain and screaming” despite the administration of pain medication.

Several minutes into the process, it became evident that the resident had difficulty delivering the baby, and the attending physician took over the delivery.  When she did a cervical exam, she realized the resident was not pulling on a foot, but rather applying force to Hannah’s hand.  The attending physician then attempted to complete the delivery but caused a fracture to Hannah’s arm bone in the process.  Hannah was eventually born 13 minutes after her brother Nasir.

When Hannah was born, she was blue and in shock, had poor perfusion, and could not breathe on her own. She required extensive resuscitation, including intubation, to help her breathe. Hannah was eventually transferred to the newborn intensive care unit with hypoxia. Around 11 p.m., a CT scan was done that showed extensive bleeding in her brain. She underwent emergency surgery the next day to remove part of her brain when another scan revealed the bleeds were getting worse and changing her neurological status. A subsequent CT scan showed one of her bleeds were again worsening, and she underwent another surgery, all within the first 24 hours of her life.

Hannah spent just over two months in the hospital.  During that time, she was also diagnosed with severe injuries to her brachial plexus nerves at C5 and C6 level and C8 and T1 level, shoulder fractures, and permanent brain injuries as a result of the trauma and hypoxia she endured at birth. Today, her left arm is effectively non-functioning, she needs braces to walk, and her academic and cognitive skills fall well below average.

Plaintiffs alleged that the obstetricians negligently sought to turn Hannah when there was no indication to do so, that the resident was not properly supervised, and that excessive force was applied.

“By trying to turn Hannah from head down to breech, and by also not performing that maneuver carefully, Hannah was exposed to unnecessary injury and harm that would have been avoided if mom pushed Hannah like her brother Nasir.  As a result, Hannah suffered a severe injury to her brachial plexus nerves and permanent brain damage to several areas of her brain that will affect all aspects of her life moving forward.  The gap between Hannah and her brother and peers will only grow and become more evident as she ages,” Plaintiff’s attorney Matthew L. Williams said.

During a trial that began on February 6, 2024, before the Honorable Brendan A. O’Brien, defendants disputed the timing, series of events that led to Hannah’s injuries, and the extent of her injuries. Defendants claimed it was appropriate to try and turn Hannah, the maneuver was done reasonably, and that Hannah’s brain injury was due to decreased blood flow from a fetal-maternal hemorrhage and unrelated to trauma and hypoxia at birth.

On February 26, a Cook County jury awarded Hannah $75,859,000 for her past and future pain and suffering, past and future loss of a normal life, past and future medical bills, past and future emotional distress, disfigurement, and future loss of earnings.

“The Housen family has endured so much pain and suffering over the past 6 years. We are thankful the jury recognized the gravity of Hannah’s physical and mental injuries and awarded her the ability to seek 24-hour monitoring and one-on-one medical care for the rest of her life, which she fully needs and deserves,” Plaintiff’s attorney Patrick A. Salvi II said.

The Defendants were represented by Marilee W. Clausing, Katherine L. Dzik, and Matthew J. Kaminski of Hall Prangle & Schoonveld, LLC.


Cook County jury awards $75.8 million to little girl who suffered injuries at birth (

Cook County jury awards $75.8M for birth injury (

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