Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 | 3:17 p.m.
CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has reinstated a medical malpractice suit by a Las Vegas mother whose child suffered brain damage during birth.
The court overturned a decision by District Judge Mark Denton, who dismissed the suit of Marilyn Monroe on grounds it was brought after the four-year statute of limitations against Dr. Barry Halpern.
The child, James Monroe, was born by Caesarean section at Sunrise Hospital in May 1995. During the procedure, James’s head was lacerated with a scalpel. He was taken to the intensive care unit under Halpern’s supervision.
The court, in its unanimous opinion, said Halpern tried for about an hour to stop the bleeding and then called a pediatric surgeon to close the wound. The boy was then transferred to Southwest Regional Neonatal Center where he was cared for by Dr. J. Parker Kurlinski.
Monroe filed claims against both Halpern and Kurlinski on grounds they had mistreated her son. Kurlinski and Monroe have settled their suit.
Monroe’s suit against Halpern was dismissed by Judge Denton because it was not filed within the four-year statute of limitation. But the Supreme Court said there is a 10-year statute of limitation if the child suffers brain damage or a birth defect.
The court said, “Because we conclude that Monroe’s appeal has merit, we deny Halpern’s request for attorney fees and costs on appeal.”
The case now returns to the Clark County District Court.