INWOOD — The family of a promising singer-songwriter who died shortly after giving birth to twins will get $4 million from NYU Langone Medical Center, court records show.
Michal Lura Friedman died from surgical complications following a cesarean section the day after Thanksgiving in 2011. The 44-year-old left behind a husband, James Snyder, and a newborn son and daughter.
Her family reached the settlement with NYU during pre-litigation talks, according to court documents filed last week in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court.
Friedman’s family had accused NYU medical personnel of failing to monitor her for 18 minutes while she was in a recovery room after her C-section — despite protocol requiring nurses to check patients twice every five minutes, court records show.
The family claimed that she was a high-risk patient because of her age, her history of pre-eclampsia and her in vitro fertilization pregnancy.
Friedman died after she was discovered hemorrhaging and NYU physicians weren’t able to stop the bleeding over a five-hour period, according to court records.
“One of the many things that is despicable about this is that she didn’t really even get a chance to hold her kids,” Snyder told the Daily News in a 2011 interview.
“They held up the babies to her, she saw them and smiled at me, but she was kind of out of it from the drugs. She wanted to be a mother more than anything else in the world.”
The couple had tried to have children for seven years before she became pregnant in 2011. In anticipation of their growing family, Friedman, who earned a modest living as a performer, and Snyder, a voice actor, moved from Williamsburg to a larger apartment in Inwood.
Snyder became the administrator of his wife’s estate after her death. Last week his lawyer, Richard Reich, submitted a petition to the Manhattan Surrogate’s Court asking a judge to approve the settlement.
Reich said in an affidavit that he had advised his client to accept NYU’s $4 million offer because it was a “large sum of money” and a personal injury lawsuit is difficult to try.
“In any malpractice case, liability is always an issue and NYU does have defenses that can be asserted,” the lawyer said in the affidavit. “With the primary witness no longer available, there is a possibility that a jury may not award an amount in excess of that offered. In fact, a jury may even award less.”
Reich, who did not respond to a request for comment, will receive $553,000 in attorney fees from the $4 million, according to court records. The remaining money is split among Snyder and his two children.
NYU Medical Center did not respond to a request for comment.