Forced Delivery Causes Erb’s Palsy and $1.2 Million Settlement

Forced Delivery, Birth Injury Attorney New York

Do you know what Erb’s palsy is? It’s a type of injury that damages the nerves needed for arm and hand movement.

The family of a baby who experienced Erb’s palsy has just reached a $1.2 million settlement with the physicians who caused it.

We’ll talk about it in this issue.

The Case at a Glance

While the settlement was just reached, the incident itself occurred in 2006. There were actually two instances of negligence for which the medical team was thought to be responsible for.

After the baby’s normal delivery was stalled, the doctors failed to order an emergency Cesarean section. Instead, they used what was deemed to be excessive force and traction to the baby’s neck and head.

It was this use of excess force that resulted in the damage to the nerves and the Erb’s palsy diagnosis. The baby eventually underwent two surgeries to try to improve his condition.

How the Settlement is Structured

There are several components to the agreed upon settlement. The doctors will pay:

  • $900,000 in cash to the family
  • $358,000 to cover lawyer fees and other legal costs
  • They will also waive past medical expenses of $250,000 that were taken on by the family as a result of the condition

Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy

Among the more common symptoms are:

  • Inability to move the affect arm or shoulder
  • Absence of reflexes with the affected limb
  • No feeling in the affected limb
  • Arm being bent back towards the body
  • Weakened grip strength in affected arm

Treatment Options for Erb’s Palsy

If left untreated, Erb’s palsy can lead to full or partial paralysis of the affected arm, muscle tissue wasting away (atrophy) or permanent loss of sensation in the arm.

In the majority of cases, recovering can be accomplished using physical therapy or surgery. If surgery is chosen, the best results occur when done during the first three-to-six-months after birth. The longer it’s prolonged, the less likely it is that the nerves will recover their functions.

The types of surgeries involved include:

  • Nerve graft – the damaged nerve area is removed and replaced with healthy nerves taken from other parts of the body
  • Nerve transfer – used when a nerve root has been separated from the spine cord. During this procedure, another nerve still attached to the spinal cord is connected to the displaced nerve.
  • Muscle transfer – entire sections of muscle and tendon are taken from other parts of your body, and transferred and connected to nerves in the affected area.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm: Fighter for the Rights of Those Harmed by Others

We’ve been successfully handling birth injury cases for over 40 years because fighting for the rights of those who’ve been harmed by others is our passion.

If your child experienced a birth injury or you think he/she has, get in touch with us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm for a free consultation.

Our number is 800-323-9900.