Gerald Sallis has severe brain damage, and a Cook County jury found that nurses and staff at West Suburban Medical Center failed to monitor his 34 weeks’ pregnant mother.
Concerned about the baby she was carrying at the time, Tequila Snow reportedly went to the emergency room in 2014 and she said she told the nurses: “My baby isn’t moving as he normally does. Something isn’t right.”
The hospital staff failed to call a doctor and ignored the baby’s oxygen levels for six hours causing Sallis to be born with brain damage, according to the Jury.
According to the New York Times, experts testified that a cesarean section would have prevented Sallis’ brain damage. The hospital was accused of ignoring Tequila Sallis’ concerns that she couldn’t feel him move.
“To see this young child now suffer every minute of every day when he should be playing on a playground in kindergarten is a terrible thing,” said Sarah King, an attorney for the family.
He now requires 24-hour care. “He just isn’t a normal person, and that was taken away from him,” Snow said, adding that with the $101 million verdict, she will now have the financial means finally to bring her son home.
Gerald is now five years old but can’t talk or walk. “I didn’t think the nurses and people who work at the hospitals didn’t care. I thought they were there to save lives. Instead, they ruined the wonderful family that I was looking forward to. He just isn’t a normal person, and that was taken away from him,” Snow told CBS.
Although a jury awarded $101 million, an agreement between the parties cut the amount to $50 million. Prior to the verdict this week, both sides agreed to cap an award at $50 million if the verdict exceeded $50 million, said Keith Hebeisen another family lawyer as reported by the New York Times.
Owners of the hospital where Gerald was born, Tenet Healthcare won’t appeal. “While we believe the care provided under the circumstances was appropriate, all parties agreed to a settlement prior to the verdict that will support this patient” and the family, Tenet said in a statement.
Meanwhile, West Suburban Medical now has a different owner. The nurse who failed to check up on Gerald’s mother is still working at the hospital, while the ultrasound tech retired, according to CBS.
In this video the mother, Tequila Snow told CBS 2’s Jermont Terry why it will never be enough to replace her son’s quality of life.