Medical Malpractice, Erb’s Palsy, Hip Dysplasia, Cognitive Deficits, Impairments in Working Memory, Attention, and Language
Injuries: Erb’s Palsy, Hip Dysplasia, Cognitive Deficits, Impairments in Working Memory, Attention, and Language
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on March 8, 2006 at Defendant Hospital Albert Einstein Hospital at 39 weeks gestation via vaginal delivery. She weighed 9 lbs at birth.
On the day of delivery, plaintiff mother presented to defendant hospital complaining of contractions about five minutes apart. Eventually, at around 11 p.m., she was diagnosed as being in active labor and was admitted to labor and delivery. A test revealed that she had tested positive for GBS, and she was put on antibiotics. Plaintiff mother was then told that she was ready to push, so she began to push, but she had difficulty doing so. There were two doctors and one nurse present. One of the doctors pushed on plaintiff mother’s belly while the other focused on delivering the baby. Eventually, with the doctors’ manipulations, the baby’s head appeared; however, some time lapsed before the baby’s shoulders appeared.
About four hours later, at 3:04 a.m., a doctor was finally able to pull the baby out, and infant plaintiff was born, but with no cry. Plaintiff mother recalls the baby looking purple / black colored, and limp and listless. The baby was carried to a nearby radiant warmer and vigorously rubbed. It was noted by a nurse who had been present for the delivery that one of the complications of labor was shoulder dystocia. Eventually, the baby was transferred to the regular nursery for more tests.
The baby did well in the regular nursery, and was noted as being pink, alert, and active; however, she was diagnosed with left shoulder dystocia. Shortly thereafter, plaintiff mother and infant plaintiff were discharged on March 10.
By the time she reached three years old, infant plaintiff had been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, and although she could move her left arm somewhat, she could only do so with some difficulty. She received occupational therapy, and was about to begin physical therapy as well. She was also, at three months old, diagnosed with hip dysplasia; plaintiff mother was informed that this injury also stemmed from infant plaintiff’s difficult birth. Finally, infant plaintiff was also diagnosed with cognitive deficits, and has impairments in visuospatial ability, picture naming, gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant doctors and defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in failing to deliver a probable macrosomic baby via caesarian section, failing to use appropriate lateral force on the infant plaintiff’s head during delivery, and failing to timely diagnose and treat infant plaintiff’s congenital hip dysplasia, all of which resulted in severe and permanent injuries to infant plaintiff, including Erb’s palsy, developmental delays, cognitive deficits, and delayed treatment of hip dysplasia. Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald ultimately settled with defendants for a total of $1,300,000.00, including payments for pain and suffering, loss of wages, non-medical damages, and future medicals.