Higher education

State settles pair of University of Iowa lawsuits, paying $3.8 million

Couple gets $3.75 million following accusations of delayed C-section

The dome of the Old Capitol Building on the Pentacrest on campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday, Ap
The dome of the Old Capitol Building on the Pentacrest on campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

DES MOINES — The State of Iowa this week received approval to settle a pair of University of Iowa-related negligence lawsuits, costing a total of nearly $3.8 million.

A three-member State Appeal Board on Monday approved the recommended UI-related settlements without dissent. Those approvals were among others the state board approved from across the state.

According to one agreement — signed Jan. 25 pending appeal board approval — a couple will receive $3.75 million for settling their lawsuit, which accuses UI Hospitals and Clinics physicians of delaying a cesarean section, resulting in “hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy” to the baby — or brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation.

UI physicians will contribute 70 percent of the payout, or $2.625 million, according to the agreement settling the medical negligence allegations. The state will pay $1.125 million, according to the documents.

Details of the payments have a sum of $2.15 million going to Antonio Arena, Laura Perez, and Hayes Lorenzen Lawyers PLC. A total of $1.6 million in periodic payments also were committed to the “conservatorship of Isabella Arenas Perez,” including $1,000 a month through 2028, increasing at 3 percent annually, and $2,570 a month through 2068, also increasing at 3 percent compounded annually.

A second settlement, which the state agreed to Jan. 20 pending appeal board approval, involved allegations of gross negligence at the UI power plant resulting from an injury suffered to the plaintiff’s right hand and forearm. The injury led to a rash that later turned into a severe burn that allegedly caused lymphedema — or swelling.

The state agreed to pay $25,000 to settle the case. The university does not have to pay any portion of that total, according to state documents.

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