Anthony Bianco was born on December 31, 1999 at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola. He was delivered by means of a vacuum extraction under the supervision of Steven Sherwin, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist.
Years later, Anthony’s mother, Mauro Bianco, commenced a medical malpractice lawsuit against her physician claiming that Dr. Sherwin improperly performed the vacuum extraction and that as a result Anthony sustained brain injuries which caused permanent neurocognitive deficits. A Nassau County jury agreed and awarded pain and suffering damages in the sum of $1,750,000 ($250,000 past – 15 years, $1,500,000 future – 60 years).
In Bianco v. Sherwin (2d Dept. 2018), both the liability and damages verdicts have been upheld.
Here are the injury details:
- upon delivery, Anthony was noted to have soft tissue swelling and blood under the skin of his skull, vacuum marks and lacerations on his head and a two inch by two inch large cephalohematoma on his head
- a CT scan revealed a subdural hematoma
- at the age of three years, Anthony had difficulties understanding his speech, displayed language problems and underwent a procedure to improve tongue mobility and improve his speech
- at the age of seven years, Anthony was diagnosed with an unspecified brain dysfunction because he was not developing normal speech and language skills
- in second grade, Anthony was in a special education class, struggling and receiving special assistance to try to keep up in school
- permanent absence of higher level of thinking, according to plaintiff’s expert neuropsychologist, with low average intelligence and mildly impaired memory
Plaintiff’s expert testified that Anthony will never be capable of holding other than an entry-level job; however, the jury declined to award any damages for impairment of earning capacity.
Defendants’ medical experts contended that there was no malpractice, the delivery was properly performed and that it was not possible to have brain damage that only manifested itself years later in learning deficits.
- Anthony did not testify or even appear in court; nor was his deposition testimony read to the jury.
- Plaintiff’s expert conceded that the injury in this case is “microscopic” and there was no blood in the brain itself.
- Mrs. Bianco continued to treat with Dr. Sherwin and he delivered her daughter in 2002.