Janaya Mercado is an 18-year old young woman with a difficult childhood. She was diagnosed with severe spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy at an early age, and struggles with significant cognitive impairments. According to Dr. Joseph Carfi, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, her condition is permanent and she will never be able to live alone, requiring assistance and supervision for the rest of her life. Her family – specifically Yesenia Perez, Janaya’s mother and legal guardian – filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. They have retained the law firm of Ronemus & Vilensky, LLP to represent Janaya in the suit.
Janaya was born at the Lincoln Medical Center on May 4, 2001. During delivery, the umbilical cord became wrapped around her neck, and contamination of the birth fluids was another complication of the birth. A neurology consultation completed right after her birth suggested she may suffer from Erb’s palsy. Evidence of a subarachnoid hemorrhage was also discovered during the evaluation.
She was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, where she remained until discharge on May 25. Since then, she has been admitted to the hospital numerous times for health concerns, including fevers, coughs, accidental falls, and musculoskeletal weakness. She is wheelchair-bound and can only sit with support. Despite extensive physical therapy and medical interventions over the course of her childhood, she remains unable to fend for herself and requires constant care. She receives care from a home health aide nine hours per day, seven days per week, and attends special education and speech therapies three times a week.
Dr. Carfi is the expert witness retained by the family and their attorney to help demonstrate that the defendant’s malpractice was the contributing cause of injuries sustained by Janaya at birth. Dr. Carfi will testify on behalf of Janaya and her family.