Improper Management Of Labor And Delivery Resulting In An Erb’s Palsy
Physician failed to properly use accepted maneuvers to relieve a shoulder dystocia
Kings County, NY
This medical malpractice action involved a plaintiff who presented to the defendant OB-GYN for her pregnancy. During the labor and delivery, the infant’s shoulder became lodged behind the mother’s pubic symphysis bone – an obstetrical emergency known as shoulder dystocia. The physician documented that he visualized a turtle sign – a condition when the head retracts back toward the vaginal canal as a result of the fetal shoulder being lodged behind the maternal pubic symphysis. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant obstetrician was negligent in utilizing accepted techniques to relieve shoulder dystocia without injuring the infant and that the defendant negligently pulled too hard on the infant’s head resulting in a permanent brachial plexus injury known as an Erb’s palsy.
The infant plaintiff had undergone years of therapy, medical procedures and botox injections. By 6 years of age, the infant plaintiff did not have full use of her left arm, she had winging of the scapula, could not catch a ball, could not pull up her clothes, needed help dressing and had trigger thumb that required surgery. The condition was permanent.
The case settled after party depositions for $900,000.