Erb's Palsy Birth Injury Settlement: $1M
2015 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
Baby suffers severe and permanent nerve injury during delivery
In 2009, the plaintiff was expecting the birth of her second child. The plaintiff was diagnosed early in her pregnancy with gestational diabetes and ultrasounds had shown the baby was growing very large throughout the pregnancy. On her last 2 prenatal visits, the plaintiff asked the defendant obstetrician if she could undergo a cesarean section because of the size of the baby. The defendant assured her that she would be fine and that she would be able to deliver her son vaginally without a problem.
On 7/29/10, the plaintiff presented to the hospital in the early morning for induction. Around 5:00 pm, the plaintiff began pushing. After about two hours of pushing, the baby’s head delivered. Immediately upon delivery of the baby’s head it was not that he was stuck in the birth canal with a condition known as a shoulder dystocia. The defendant and two other health care providers attempted to release the child for 11 minutes before they were able to finally deliver him. The child weighed 10 pounds 7 ounces at birth. It was noted in the nursery that the child had no movement of his right arm. It was determined he had suffered a severe and permanent nerve injury (Erb’s Palsy) during the attempts to deliver him. For the past 5 years since his birth, he has had continuous physical and occupational therapy. He has also undergone two surgeries on his right arm with more expected in the future. He currently cannot use his right as anything more than a helping hand.
The plaintiffs presented expert testimony that the defendant obstetrician failed to recognize that gestational diabetes and the large size of the baby required a planned cesarean section to avoid this known complication associated with large babies. The plaintiffs also presented expert testimony that had the defendant delivered the baby by planned cesarean section, he would not have suffered the injuries with which he lives today.
The defendant denied that the plaintiff had requested a cesarean section at any point in pregnancy. Instead, he testified that he had offered the cesarean section but the plaintiff refused. The defendant also testified that the child did not meet the weight criteria set forth by ACOG for offering an elective cesarean section.
The case proceeded to trial with no offer. After 4 days of trial, the case settled for $1,000,000 which was the extent of the defendant’s insurance coverage.
Lubin & Meyer attorney Robert M. Higgins represented the plaintiff in this medical malpractice lawsuit.
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