A complicated birth presents many unknowns for parents in New York and beyond. Birth injuries are possible if supreme care is not taken when delivering a child in a high-risk situation. Following delivery, the child may be carefully examined and monitored for signs that an injury has occurred. For one family in another state, a successful malpractice lawsuit will help them pay for the medical treatment their daughter has endure in the ten years since her traumatic birth.
The mother came to the hospital to have her labor induced, but during the delivery, the child’s shoulders became lodged in the birth canal. Because the doctor apparently did not notice that the baby’s shoulders were stuck, he asked for assistance in using suction to force the baby out. When the baby was delivered, the force of the process damaged the nerves from her spine to her right arm. As a result, the child has limited movement in her arm, even ten years later.
Since there was no notation in the medical records of the injury, attorneys for the parents cited circumstantial evidence, including the fact that the mother’s substantial weight gain was one of several factors placing the child at risk for such an injury. In addition, the jury may not have believed that the doctor did not notice the child’s lifeless arm during his newborn assessment. An expert witnessed testified that the doctor’s explanation – that the mother’s contractions caused the nerve damage – was impossible.
A jury awarded the girl $2 million, including amounts for disfigurement, disability, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and future lost wages. Families in New York may face similar circumstances and wonder what to do to ensure their child will have every opportunity for a happy and productive life. With the help of an attorney, they can explore the options for seeking compensation for birth injuries their children have suffered.
Source: chicagolawbulletin.com, “Jury awards $2 million for nerve injury during birth“, Lauraann Woodlaw, Feb. 2, 2017