A West Palm Beach, Florida, couple has filed a birth injury lawsuit against an obstetrician who they claim caused their son’s cerebral palsy by choosing to extract him with a vacuum pump instead of allowing a natural delivery.
The boy, now 16 years old, was born with the condition on March 6, 1998, and currently has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old. His parents are seeking millions of dollars in damages from the doctor. According to the lawsuit, the family believes the doctor was more interested in checking the status of his broken-down BMW car than in tending to the mother on the day she gave birth to her son.
The family’s attorney submitted the obstetrician’s phone records in court as evidence. His attorneys, however, claimed that phoning the BMW service station before the boy’s birth did not influence the doctor’s medical judgment. They said he repeatedly checked with nurses on the condition of the mother, who arrived at the hospital around five weeks ahead of her due date.
The defense argued that the doctor believed she could not give the required big push to deliver her son due to exhaustion, so he used a suction cup to pull the baby out. Vacuum pumps are used in about 10 percent of births and generally do not have adverse effects, they noted. They also said that cerebral palsy is more common in prematurely born babies, and the reason the boy has the condition is unknown.
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.