15,000,000 for Tough Teen: 17-Year-Old Crippled at Birth Wins Suit

Date:05-11-1991
Publication:Daily News
Author:Sonia Reyes and Ruth Landa
Case
Attorney(s):Thomas A. Moore
Practice Area(s):Medical Malpractice
Summary:A Bronx jury awarded 17-year-old Carmelo Cruz $15 million "in damages for malpractice that crippled him at birth," according to the Daily News article. His "difficult birth caused critical delays that deprived the newborn Cruz of oxygen," causing "severe, permanent brain damage affecting his motor skills and leaving him one functioning limb-his left arm." Thomas Moore represented Carmelo Cruz.

A tragic miscalculation from "inexperienced residents" led to "mistaking his buttocks for his head and failing to diagnose his breech position." A more experienced doctor slept while younger doctors took over the birth. "He would have been saved from this tragic fate if the residents did not misdiagnose the position and if the attending physician took action," said Mr. Moore, who admiringly called Carmelo Cruz "a tower of strength."

"The doctors said I will never walk again, but I made a promise to myself that I will walk again," said Carmelo Cruz. "Nobody is going to stop me."