Shoulder Dystocia, Brachial Plexus Injury, Erb’s Palsy
Injuries: Shoulder Dystocia, Brachial Plexus Injury, Erb’s Palsy
Facts and Claim of Liability:
Infant plaintiff was born on July 17, 2004 at Defendant Hospital Kings County Hospital Center at 40 weeks gestation via vaginal delivery. She weighed 9 lbs 9 oz at birth.
Prior to giving birth, plaintiff mother had a relatively uneventful pregnancy. She had no prenatal surgery, significant injuries or other illnesses. She tested negative for Group B streptococcus (GBS) and urinary tract infection (UTI). However, when she was 5 months along, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
On the day before delivery, plaintiff mother began experiencing severe labor pains. She presented to defendant hospital’s emergency room at around 10:00 p.m. She was taken into a room and examined, and told that she was not yet ready to deliver. However, plaintiff mother progressed from 4 cm dilated to fully dilated in less than an hour, and less than four hours later, infant plaintiff was born, although not without difficulty, as her shoulders had difficulty passing.
Her Apgar scores were 8 and 9 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively.
Infant plaintiff was ultimately diagnosed with Erb’s palsy. Plaintiff mother was told that it likely arose from shoulder dystocia, which resulted in a brachial plexus injury (which, in turn, led to the Erb’s palsy). Currently, infant plaintiff requires some assistance performing certain tasks, such as dressing herself.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Kings County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant hospital departed from good and accepted medical practice in the care of infant plaintiff in failing to assess the estimated weight of infant plaintiff, failing to properly assess plaintiff mother upon her admission to labor and delivery, and failing to timely deliver infant plaintiff via caesarian section in light of infant plaintiff being macrosomic (large for gestational age). Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $290,000.00.