Heisch V. Morton, Et Al.

Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County
Civil Action - Law Jury Trial Demanded
No. 97 CV 1853

Plaintiff Attorney:
Joseph P. Lenahan, Esq.
Lenahan & Dempsey
116 N. Washington Avenue
Kane Building, Suite 400
Scranton, PA 18503

Defendant Attorneys:
For Wayne Memorial:
John Q. Durkin, Esq.
O' Malley & Harris
345 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503

For Dr. Morton, Dr. Milks,
Pediatric Practices of Nepa
And Dr. Cita:
David W. Saba, Esq.
Suite 200
400 3rd Avenue
Kingston, PA 18704-5816

Plaintiff Expert Witness:
Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor Harvard Medical School co-Director Program in Psychiatry & the Law
96 Larchwood Drive
Cambridge, MA 02138

Settlement: Confidential

Case Description:

A lack of response to parents' concerns that an infant in respiratory distress be transferred to intensive care can result in lifelong neuropsychiatric impairment. Kenneth Heisch (DOB: April 27, 1995) suffered from respiratory distress after his birth by a caesarean section. His parents' pleadings that he be transferred to a setting where he could receive more intensive care were initially disregarded. Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn of Cambridge, MA, a forensic neuro-psychiatrist testified for the plaintiffs as to the medical cause of Kenneth Heisch's neuro-psychiatric impairment He testified that the delay in transfer resulted in Kenneth Heisch suffering brain injury and neuro-psychiatric impairment due to a lack of oxygen and shunting of blood flow away from oxygen starved brain tissue. Dr. Bursztajn's testimony regarding the cause of Kenneth Heisch's neuropsychiatric impairments countered the defense pediatric neurologist's claim that Kenny's suffering was in the autistic spectrum of disorders unrelated to neonatal hypoxia, Dr. Bursztajn testified that Kenneth Heisch's impairments in autobiographical memory and executive functions such as judgment and planning were characteristic of the diffuse cortical injuries caused by perinatal hypoxia and shunting. Subsequent to Dr. Bursztajn's testimony, before the case was brought to the jury, the defense settled to the satisfaction of the plaintiff. The amount of the settlement is confidential.