In a recent article this blog explained that there are many reasons that birth injuries occur. As the post explained, one factor that can increase the risk of birth injuries is the size of the baby. When the baby is large, doctors may need to consider performing a cesarean section in order to avoid birth injuries.
In a recent case, however, a doctor failed to perform a cesarean section with a large baby. In this case, the baby girl was born at nine pounds, two ounces. During the baby’s decent into the birth canal, however, the baby girl’s left shoulder became stuck. In order to avoid oxygen deprivation to the baby, the doctor took action.
As a result, the baby was born with a brachial plexus injury — or injury to the nerves in the shoulder — and other permanent nerve root damage. The baby’s arm was motionless and weak because of the injuries. These injuries are permanent and are not expected to get better in time.
The baby’s family filed suit against the doctor. They claimed that the doctor applied excessive force in order to free the baby’s shoulder during birth. Furthermore, they claimed that the doctor should have realized that the baby was too large for a vaginal birth and should have been born via a C-section.
A jury recently agreed with the family that the doctor was negligent.The judge in the case set aside the verdict when the parties agreed to settle. In the case, the family was awarded $1 million in damages in the settlement. This included $588,000 for the family, plus money for attorney’s fees and other costs.
Oregon residents who have had a child that was injured at birth should take note of this case. People can be entitled to damages for birth injuries in certain situations. People need to explore their legal options if their child suffers from a birth injury.
Source: The Telegraph, “Jury awards $1M to baby injured during birth,” Sanford Schmidt, Oct. 15, 2014