Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Injured child

Lawsuit alleges premature birth
caused baby’s permanent injury

By David Baker
Posted June 2, 2015
389 words

The parents of a baby boy who has cerebral palsy have filed a lawsuit against a doctor and several medical entities claiming a failure to diagnose a condition that can cause a premature birth has left the child with a permanent disability.

Courtney and Anthony Sroka, II of Averill Park filed the claim against Vincent. A. Corcoran, M.D. and Seton Health OB/GYN.  The complaint also names St. Peter’s Health Partners – which, following a 2011 merger, operates Seton OB/GYN.

Also named is Trinity Health Corp., a not-for-profit corporation based in Livonia, Michigan that operates 86 hospitals in 21 states, including the four Capital District hospitals now a part of St. Peter’s Health Partners.

According to the complaint, Corcoran began treating Sroka for her pregnancy in April 2012.  The child was born prematurely in November of that year. Corcoran, it says, breached the duty of care by “…negligently and careless failing to consider and/or recognize the Plaintiff was at risk of having an incompetent cervix which could lead to premature birth of her child.”

The complaint also alleges that Corcoran failed to “…properly perform, review and interpret sonograms/ultrasounds of  the Plaintiff and her unborn child.”

The cervix is normally closed and rigid during most of a pregnancy. As the birth approaches, it relaxes and becomes shorter, finally opening enough to allow the baby to leave the womb.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s web page, an “incompetent cervix” is a condition when weak cervical tissue causes or contributes to premature birth or the loss of an otherwise healthy baby, most often between the eighteenth and twenty-second  week of pregnancy. Detecting the condition can be challenging if there is no history of miscarriage, it says, and but treatments are usually successful.

The complaint alleges that the child “…has sustained certain serious and permanent injuries, damages and disabilities, including, but not limited to, cerebral palsy, which have resulted  in great pain and discomfort, as well as physical and mental anguish, and excruciating conscious pain and suffering, all of which are permanent and will continue into the future.”  It seeks an unspecified amount in damages and costs.

The complaint – incorrectly dated April 10, 2014 – was  filed in April of this year by the Albany law firm O’Connell & Aronowitz.  Responses from attorneys representing the defendants were not on file at the time the complaint was obtained.