VENTURA : Hospital Settles Malpractice Suit

A Ventura hospital has agreed to settle a malpractice lawsuit by paying $400,000 to a Ventura couple whose newborn son developed cerebral palsy 24 hours after a normal birth.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Steven Z. Perren on Wednesday approved the settlement of a lawsuit filed against Community Memorial Hospital by Stephen and Grace Jester.

Their son, Stephen Jester 2nd, now age 4, was left a spastic quadriplegic after nurses failed to notice that he was not breathing on April 28, 1988, 24 hours after his birth, said Bruce Fagel, the parents' attorney. Lack of oxygen caused brain damage, Fagel said.

"He will probably be able to mentally function fairly well, he may be able to use a computer and he may be able to mentally get along," Fagel said. "But he . . . probably will never be able to walk and will always require care."

Marvin Bauer, the hospital's attorney, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

The parents are to get $171,625, paid in installments through the year 2036; and Fagel's office is to get $228,375, according to the settlement papers.

For the Record Los Angeles Times Thursday October 15, 1992 Ventura County Edition Metro Part B Page 6 Column 3 Zones Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction Wrong amount--An article Friday incorrectly reported the amount of a settlement in a malpractice lawsuit by a Ventura couple against Community Memorial Hospital. The correct amount was $2.6 million.
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