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Brachial Plexus Paralysis Lawsuit Filed in Los Angeles

Birth Injury LawsuitsA brachial plexus paralysis lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles on behalf of a minor defendant who will struggle with neurological damage and paralysis from a birth injury for the rest of his life.  The lawsuit filed on October 29, 2013 in the Superior Court, Central District, of Los Angeles County, contends that the injury suffered could have been avoided were it not for the negligence of the attending physician and nurses at La Familia & Women’s Medical Clinic (LFWMC).

The plaintiff and his mother are suing for compensatory damages and costs pertaining to general negligence, general damages, hospital and medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and emotional distress.

According to the complaint, Ivan Torres et al v. Loy Pham MD et al (#BC426032), Veronica Lopez had uncontrolled gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension while she was carrying minor defendant Ivan Torres.  The baby was also very large, meconium was present at the rupture of the membranes during the delivery (possibly indicating fetal distress), and shoulder dystocia appeared likely.

Despite all of these risk factors, those in attendance at the birth did not provide a cesarean section, as was medical necessary, and instead allowed a vaginal birth to proceed on December 7, 2012.  As a result, Lopez vaginal injuries, trauma, and emotional distress, and her infant son suffered a serious and permanent brachial plexus and neurological injury.

Grounds for a brachial plexus paralysis lawsuit

A brachial plexus injury is a birth injury that affects the nerve bundle running from the spinal cord at the baby’s neck to the tips of the fingers.  An injury occurs when a doctor or midwife responds to shoulder dystocia (when one of the baby’s shoulders is lodged in the birth canal and does not emerge immediately after the delivery of the head) with inordinate pulling or twisting, or too vigorous use of suction or forceps.

Doctors need to be aware of risk factors for shoulder dystocia, which include the size of baby and mother, previous injuries, slow descent or dilation during delivery, or gestational diabetes.  And they need to plan in advance how they will cope with this possible complication through gentle maneuvering of the baby, or an episiotomy or C-section in riskier cases.  Improperly responding to warning signs, or excessive force during delivery that resulted in an injury, may be adequate grounds for a brachial plexus paralysis lawsuit.

Birth injury malpractice: compensation

Different kinds of brachial plexus injuries can affect different parts of the body, including the shoulder, upper arm, chest, thumb, and fingers.  Some kinds of injury are temporary; however, others result in lifelong damage and disability, including decreased nerve, muscle, and bone growth; movement, balance, coordination, and dexterity challenges; joint dysfunction and wear; limb length discrepancy; and other serious issues.

Serious brachial plexus injuries can disrupt the life and emotional stability of a child and his family, may require extensive surgeries and treatment, and can result in challenges for a child as he or she grows in both work and personal life.  The medical, vocation, and psychological cost of such birth injury malpractice may necessitate financial compensation.