Family awarded $34 million in damages from lawsuit against CoxHealth

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 8:37 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A baby delivery gone wrong at Cox Hospital impacted the life of a southwest Missouri family forever.

After the mother received too much of the medication Pitocin, the baby suffered a brain injury.

In 2014, Katie Kendrick went to Cox South hospital for her scheduled induction.

After a healthy pregnancy, she didn’t expect something to go wrong during labor.

But it did.

Kendrick says right after delivery, she knew immediately that something was wrong with her son. She says her son, Brody, wasn’t crying, and he was limp.

Despite raising those concerns, Kendrick tells me doctors and nurses continued to reassure her everything was okay.

“I noticed something more was wrong with him,” Kendrick says. He didn’t want to eat. He didn’t have a suck reflex. Something just wasn’t right, and I voiced my concerns over and over again, and nothing was done.”

Staff gave Kendrick increasing doses of the drug Pitocin, which caused her contractions to become frequent and severe.

That led her son Brody to be deprived of oxygen in the womb.

“He had a hypoxic brain injury while I was in labor, so he was deprived of oxygen for large amounts of time over and over and over again for several hours,” Kendrick says.

Kendrick describes Brody as a sweet seven-and-a-half-year-old boy.

He loves to swim and watch Elmo.

Brody’s lack of oxygen led to brain damage, quadriplegia, and a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, which will require life-long care.

“What happened that day took my child from me in certain ways,” Kendrick says. “Just poor choices from start to finish, and I’m not upset about it anymore. I’ve forgiven.”

CoxHealth sent this statement to KY3:

“We are deeply sorry any time an incident like this occurs, but we stand behind our teams and the care we provided in this case. Even though we disagree with the jury’s verdict, we respect the judicial process.”

After a ten-day trial in 2021, the family was awarded more than $34 million in damages.

Kendrick says that money went into a special needs fund.

It allowed Brody to get a unique bed and a sizeable handicap-accessible van.

“That I will fight for you till your last day,” Kendrick says. “For any of my children. And that I love you so very much. Your dad and I both do, and we think you are so beautiful and so amazing.”

Kendrick says her biggest hope is that protocols are changed. That way, no other family has to go through what she’s had to.

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