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Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit Filed in Florida

erbs palsy lawsuitA Florida mother has filed an Erb’s palsy lawsuit against the physician who delivered her infant son and Bethesda Hospital. She claims the defendants failed to properly train it’s labor and delivery nurses on shoulder dystocia and how to manage it, and failed to require an ultrasound when there was an increased risk for the condition.

Shoulder dystocia takes place when the baby’s head is delivered through the vagina, but the shoulders remain stuck inside the mother’s body. This condition may occur when the baby is unusually large or the mother’s pelvic opening is too small for the infant’s shoulders to come out.

Erb’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury where an infant experiences a loss of movement or weakness of the arm that occurs when the collection of nerves around the shoulder are damaged during birth. Signs of this condition include when the infant does not move the upper or lower arm or hand, has no reflexes and a decreased grip on affected side. Shoulder dystocia complications can result in Erb’s palsy.

Erb’s palsy lawsuit details

In her medical malpractice case, the plaintiff claims the defendant acted in a negligent manner when caring for her and her unborn child. She cites the followed specific acts to support her allegations:

  • “Scheduling an induction of a suspected macrosomic fetus in the evening when there is less hospital personnel to assist in the event of a complication.”
  • “By failing to review the prior 2010 vaginal delivery records of this patient which resulted in a vacuum extraction. This indicated a greater chance for a complication with the subject delivery…
  • “By failing to obtain an ultrasound once he knew the patient’s uterus measured forty two centimeters which is very large. He knew his patient was small statured and obese, yet he proceeded with a vaginal delivery, unaware of the size of the baby.”
  • “In failing to recognize a protraction disorder in the first stage of labor, indicative with this fetus being too large to pass through the pelvic canal.”

The plaintiff claims the child suffered shoulder dystocia and excessive traction during delivery and was placed on his head and neck during delivery, by the physician, causing the infant to suffer Erb’s palsy.

Plaintiff seeks damages

The mother’s lawsuit brings a total of four claims against the two defendants, including:

  • Count I: Negligence of Defendant
  • Count II: Vicarious Liability of Defendant
  • Count III: Vicarious Liability Negligence of Defendant
  • Count IV: Negligence of Defendant

The lawsuit states that the infant suffered damages in and about his body, experienced pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, impairment of working ability, mental anguish, loss for the capacity of the enjoyment of his life, and physical impairment. These losses are either permanent or continuous by nature.

According to the claim, the mother has also experienced pain and suffering, mental anguish, has incurred hospital and related medical expenses and has incurred additional out-of-pocket expenses. Losses by both mother and child are noted as either permanent or continuous by nature.