Cook County jury awards mother $20 million in birth injury case against Advocate Christ Hospital

The mother of a boy that has severe brain damage after delivery at a south suburban hospital was awarded $20 million by a Cook County jury.

Jurors deliberated for six hours Friday after a three-week trial at the Daley Center, finding staff at Advocate Christ Hospital missed signs that Bonita Johnson’s child was in danger during Johnson’s labor at the Oak Lawn medical center in 2014.

Because staff failed to act swiftly enough to prevent complications, the child, now 7, has permanent brain damage, according to a lawsuit. The boy will "require lifelong medical, personal and financial care. He will never be able to support himself or live alone," according to a statement from Johnson’s attorneys.


"We live with the ramifications of this every minute of every day," Johnson said in a statement. "My son will never live a normal life, and that is heartbreaking for me because, as a mother, you want your child to have the best life possible."

Jurors found in favor of Johnson in eight out of nine counts alleging negligence against hospital staff. It did not find the doctor who performed a Caesarian section on Johnson liable for the child’s injuries, according to a statement issued Monday by Johnson’s lawyers.

"Our hearts go out to this family.We are committed to providing the best care to all patients," Advocate Health spokeswoman Kathryn McDonough said in an emailed statement. "While we are disappointed with the verdict, our focus remains on high-quality care."