Florida woman files brachial plexus injury lawsuit

A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against a certified nurse midwife (CNM), alleging that the midwife’s negligence caused her baby to experience a brachial plexus injury during childbirth.

According to the complaint, Barbara Carroll, CNM, did not provide appropriate care to the woman, who had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had already been identified as a high-risk pregnancy. The complaint states that the CNM failed to take into account the baby’s estimated weight when assessing the woman.

The baby was delivered vaginally following an episiotomy, and the baby developed shoulder dystocia, an emergency in which the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck after the head exits the birth canal. The baby was delivered after the CNM applied suprapubic pressure to dislodge the shoulder while repositioning the mother.

At birth, the baby weighed close to nine pounds and displayed facial bruising and overlapping head sutures, inability to move the left arm and limited movement of the right arm. The child was later diagnosed with severe left upper extremity brachial plexopathy. The child has undergone physical and occupational therapy, and may need surgical treatment. The child may experience permanent disability.

The lawsuit alleges that the CNM failed to assess the baby’s weight, inappropriately rushed the delivery and failed to perform a C-section delivery when it would have been appropriate.

Shoulder dystocia is a leading cause of brachial palsy, and most cases occur because of fetal macrosomia, a condition in which the baby’s body is disproportionately large compared to the head. Fetal macrosomia is especially common among women with gestational diabetes, making it important for doctors and midwives to carefully screen for and act on the condition.

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If your child was injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.