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Jury awards more than $2 million in Erb's palsy lawsuit

Prenatal care and issues during the delivery of a child were at the center of a recent medical malpractice lawsuit on the East Coast. Massachusetts birth injury lawyers are aware that a condition known as Erb's palsy may result from improper care during a difficult childbirth or delivery when medical professionals pull to hard during delivery.

The recent New York birth injury lawsuit reportedly involved evidence that a child was not given proper prenatal care and a certified midwife had pulled too hard on the child's head during delivery. The child's mother filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her now 7-year-old daughter who suffers from Erb's palsy.

Essentially, the girl has limited mobility in her left arm due to permanent nerve damage to nerves in her neck. The lawsuit alleged that issues involved during the child's prenatal care and the delivery process caused the permanent nerve damage. News reports do not cover in detail the alleged deficiencies in prenatal care that were presented to the jury. The hospital reportedly claimed that staff did not act negligently, and further argued that the nerve damage occurred before the mother went into labor.

The case did not settle out of court and was presented before a jury during a roughly three-week trial. After deliberating over the evidence presented at trial, the jury found in favor of the family in April, awarding a seven-figure sum in damages.

Erb's palsy is a form of paralysis that can be caused by trauma to the child's shoulder during delivery, often when medical professionals pull the child's head, neck or shoulder too hard. However, prenatal care of the mother can generally come into play as well in an Erb's palsy case, especially if the medical staff fails to timely admit a mother-to-be to obstetrics for a Caesarian section.

Source: WBNG, "Medical malpractice award in Otsego County case closely watched," Candace Chapman, April 17, 2013

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