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A Fulton County, Georgia, Jury Awards Plaintiffs $ 3 Million in a Medical Malpractice Case Involving a Birth that Resulted in a Permanent Brain Injury


After a nine (9) day intense jury trial in a case where the cause of severe brain damage of an infant at birth was at issue, a Fulton County State Court Jury in Georgia awarded $ 3,000,000.00 to the parents of a baby girl, and the baby girl herself, who was born with a severe brain injury that was allegedly caused by the negligence of two (2) of the seven (7) the Defendants named in the lawsuit.

The facts of the case are that in May of 2007, Plaintiff Alice Sodjago was scheduled to deliver her baby by induction at Henry Medical Center, now known as Piedmont Henry Hospital. The induction began as planned but when there was not much progress in the birth after a couple of hours, it was determined that the baby was fine, that Ms. Sodjago could be released from the hospital and sent home, and was instructed only to return in either four (4) days or if her contractions significantly increased.

The following day, Ms. Sodjago’s contractions did increase so she went back to the hospital. At the time of her return to the hospital, it was determined that the baby was not fine and was, in fact, in much distress. At this time, Ms. Sodjago was only dilated two (2) centimeters.

At trial, it was not clear from the evidence whether or not the nurse and midwife communicated with each other clearly that the doctor was to be contacted immediately to perform an emergency C-Section. The evidence did show, however, that the doctor was not contacted for thirty (30) minutes and, when he did arrive, that he waited another nineteen (19) minutes before beginning the C-Section.

When baby girl Joanna Sodjago was born, she was under severe stress, was not responsive, and was pale blue in color. Despite many efforts by the neonatal specialist resuscitation team, baby Joanna was diagnosed with a condition whereby the blood vessels from the vital organs of her heart to her lungs did not open adequately enough to provide oxygen to the blood; a condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension.

This condition left baby Joanna blind, with ADD (attention deficit disorder), and impaired cognitive development and motor skills all of which will make her life a great challenge. The Plaintiffs, parents Alice and Komivi Sodjago, and baby Joanna herself, subsequently filed a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit. The case was called Sodjago v. Pediatrix Medical Group of Georgia, No. 12EV015750. The case was highly contested during trial.

Although the Plaintiffs’ had testimony from an economist that it would cost approximately six (6) to fifteen (15) million dollars over baby Joanna’s life to care for her, the Jury ultimately, after three (3) to four (4) hours of deliberation, came back with an award for the Plaintiffs in the amount of only $ 3 Million Dollars.

The jury allocated 60% of the liability to the Midwife and the Midwife’s employer, and 40% of the liability to the Nurse and Piedmont Henry Hospital. The remaining Defendants that included Dr. Lovinger, the Neonatologists and Pediatrix were absolved from any liability.

The message sent by the jury was that if the doctor would have been called in time by the nurse and midwife that the series of acts and events that ultimately led to baby Joanna’s severe brain damage would not have happened as all other parties, except the nurse and midwife, acted within the standard of care in the industry under the same or similar circumstances.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates we have represented Plaintiffs in similar cases and received seven figure winning results. As such, if you or a loved one has been injured in this type of case or any other type of Medical Malpractice case, then Contact Us for your free legal consultation.

Since these cases are very complex and difficult in nature and do take time to investigate before making the decision to file a lawsuit, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible after any type of injury or death so that you have the best chance of receiving the most amount of compensation that you are entitled to under the circumstances.