Stalley v. Tampa General Hospital (Tampa, Florida).
Stalley v. Tampa General Hospital involves a two-day old baby (Inaaya Limone) whose broncheal endotracheal tube allegedly was improperly removed by a respiratory therapist on March 31, 2004. As a result, said attorney William Hahn, the child stopped breathing and suffered massive, permanent brain damage. According to Mr. Hahn, the child was neurlogically normal at birth, with Apgar scores of 8 and 9, and nothing during the child's delivery contributed to her brain injury.
Now at age 7, the child cannot feed herself, cannot walk or stand, and cannot speak. Her biological parents abandoned her, and she was adopted by her grandparents. She will continue to require 24x7 care for the rest of her life, with damages potentially in excess of $100M.
For the defense, Carlton Fields' Ed Carbone told the jury that the care providers were not negligent, and the challenged extubation episode did not cause the child's brain injury. Instead, according to Mr. Carbone, the child's injuries resulted from the traumatic pre-birth experiences that led to the her being placed in the neonatal intensive care unit in the first place, including compression of the umbilical cord, which was a pre-birth hypoxic event.
Prior to the extubation event, which resulted in a code, the child was breathing on her own, appeared ready to be extubated, and was in fact extubated according to plan, said Mr. Carbone.
Although the extubation did not go as expected, CPR efforts were prompt, and reintubation was begun within two minutes. The child never lost blood pressure. Moreover, said Mr. Carbone, blood readings after the event suggested that the extubation episode was not catastrophic. Because there was not 20 minutes of hypoxia, and, and no anoxia, the child's severe injury could not have been caused by that episode, said Mr. Carbone.