Erb’s Palsy lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of hospital and staff

A woman from Lake Worth, Florida, filed a personal injury lawsuit against her obstetrician/gynecologist and the staff at Bethesda Memorial Hospital. She alleges that they neglected to use the required level of care, skill and treatment at the time of her delivery. As a result of their negligence, her child suffered a brachial plexus injury, which developed into Erb’s Palsy.

The mother contends that if the medical staff had conducted a review of her prior labor records, they would have realized that she had a high risk for giving birth to a macrosemic baby, or one that is unusually large, and would probably develop shoulder dystocia, which is a condition in which the shoulder of the fetus becomes stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone at the time of a vaginal delivery.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the defendants because they scheduled an induction of a large fetus during the evening hours, a time when there were few staff members available to help in case a difficult situation arose. Furthermore, the complaint states that the child suffered much pain and incurred considerable medical expenses that, in all likelihood, will extend into the future.

The plaintiff accused Bethesda Memorial Hospital of committing the following acts of misconduct:

  • Failing to acknowledge that the plaintiff’s labor was not proceeding, and neglecting to inform the obstetrician/gynecologist so that he could think about whether to perform a Cesarean section, and advising the mother of the risks of having a vaginal delivery;
  • Neglecting to provide proper training to its nurses who work in labor and delivery regarding shoulder dystocia and ways in which to handle the condition;
  • Failing to compel the use of an ultrasound when there is a heightened risk for shoulder dystocia because of macrosomia and a lack of any recent approximate weight.

Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that as a result of the hospital’s negligence, the infant suffered traumatic stretch and compression injuries to his brachial plexus nerves, thereby causing permanent neurologic and functional losses, and the need for surgery.

The plaintiff is demanding more than $15,000 in damages, and the complaint was filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Risk factors for Erb’s Palsy
Among the risk factors for Erb’s Palsy are:

  • The use of forceps at the time of delivery
  • Unusually large size of the infant
  • Infants who have a high birth weight
  • Infants in the breech position

If your infant suffered Erb’s Palsy due to the negligence of the doctor or hospital that was responsible for delivering your child, call the birth injury attorneys at Chalik and Chalik Law Offices.