A jury in the courtroom of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert Ziolkowski rendered a $20 million verdict against the DMC and Hutzel Hospital on March 21 for brain injuries suffered at birth by Chelsie Barker, age 15 of Detroit, Michigan.
Hutzel Hospital allegedly dumped Chelsie's mother, a Wayne County Jail detainee, out of the hospital despite the fact that she was in labor and about to give birth. The hospital ordered that Chelsie's mother be sent back to the jail in the middle of the night. Chelsie was born within an hour on the jail floor, but not before she suffered severe brain injuries.
"The testimony at trial showed that Chelsie's mom was dumped out of the hospital because a resident did not like that she was dressed in jail garb. Throughout the trial, Hutzel Hospital and its attorneys tried to blame the Wayne County Jail for its own malpractice. Hutzel's behavior at that time, and during trial was reprehensible," Fieger stated.
Fieger said he believed it to be the largest verdict this year. Chelsie previously received a settlement from Wayne County of $8 million for a civil rights action that was filed on her behalf in the United States Federal District Court.
At trial Chelsie was represented by trial lawyers Geoffrey Fieger and Jack Beam of Chicago.