Capt. Andrew Cibula and Jennifer Cibula, parents of JC, sued the United States of America alleging that Navy physicians mismanaged Mrs. Cibula’s first pregnancy, thereby causing JC to suffer a catastrophic brain injury shortly before birth. Mrs. Cibula was taking prescribed medications and had a health condition that put her fetus at increased risk of developing intrauterine growth restriction as the pregnancy progressed. For that reason, Mrs. Cibula’s Navy obstetrician was told specifically by a maternal-fetal specialist to monitor the pregnancy closely with frequent ultrasound scans and other tests, but he performed none. As a result, the physician was unaware that the fetus developed severe growth restriction, and failed to deliver the baby before he suffered severe hypoxia and a brain hemorrhage shortly before delivery by emergency cesarean section. JC has permanent physical and neurological injuries, needs around- the-clock nursing care, and will never live independently or be employed.
Type of action: Federal Tort Claims Act – birth related injury
Injuries alleged: Grade IV intraventricular hemorrhage, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy
Name of case: Cibula v. U.S.
Court: U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Virginia
Case no.: 1:05-cv-1386
Judge: Gerald Bruce Lee
Date resolved: June 19, 2012
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Amount: $25,184,489 ($1,687,500 past care; $21,136,218 future care; $2,360,771 future earnings)
Attorneys for plaintiffs: Bruce J. Klores, Thomas W. Mitchell and Scott M. Perry, Washington
Attorneys for defendant: Bridget B. Lipscomb, Washington; Dennis C. Barghaan and Joe Sher, Alexandria
Plaintiffs’ experts: Curtis Cetrulo M.D., OB/GYN, Boston; Richard Stokes M.D., OB/GYN, Reston; Marcus Hermansen M.D., neonatology, Nashua, N.H.; Cynthia Kaplan M.D., pathology, Stony Brook, N.Y.; Elizabeth Latimer M.D., neurology, Bethesda, Md.
Defendant’s experts: Susan Lanni M.D., OB/GYN, Richmond; Raymond McCue M.D., OB/GYN, Manassas; John Barks M.D., neurology, Ann Arbor, Mich.