The law firm of Hurley, McKenna & Mertz P.C. has won a $4.5 million settlement on behalf of a 12-year-old boy allegedly born developmentally challenged because doctors failed to perform an immediate cesarean section.

The suit alleged that doctors at the now-defunct Columbus Hospital in Chicago failed to adequately monitor Antonio Johnkin on Aug. 21, 1993, when there were indications that he was suffering from a lack of oxygen in the womb.

Instead of performing a surgical procedure then, the child wasn’t delivered by caesarean section until the following day, according to Christopher T. Hurley, who, along with Mark R. McKenna, represented Johnkin.

Johnkin, who suffered severe brain damage and cerebral palsy, is unable to talk or read and requires constant assistance, Hurley said.

Antonio Johnkin v. Catholic Health Partners Services d/b/a Columbus-Cabrini Medical Center, No. 2001 L 3849.

Rudolf G. Schade Jr. of Cassiday, Schade LLP represented the defendant, Catholic Health Partners Services. Schade said medical group argued that the child’s problems were the result of his premature birth at 28 weeks.

The hospital thought it best to settle the case, in part because most of the medical records were lost or mislabeled when the hospital closed, Schade said.

The case was before Cook County Circuit Judge Richard J. Elrod.