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The Berkowitz Law Firm LLC Commentary On $1M Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit

Written by Berkowitz

Infant with Erb's Palsy

In the United States, birth injuries occur in approximately 27 out of 1000 births each year.  Many of these injuries, which range from mild to severe and potentially fatal, are preventable. In a recent Illinois case, a mother filed a medical negligence lawsuit against her obstetrician for failing to provide the right standard of care and thereby causing her newborn child to suffer permanent nerve damage. The attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC have litigated birth injury and medical malpractice cases like this, and know firsthand the challenges that a family faces when dealing with a birth injury trauma.

On March 1, 2011, Jamie Rae went to Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois, where doctors made the decision to induce labor. Difficulties arose when the baby’s shoulder was caught under the mother’s pelvic bone. Rae stated that after several unsuccessful attempts to deliver the baby, the obstetrician then applied too much downward traction to the baby’s head and the newborn was delivered with her right shoulder coming out first, and then her left.  The child suffered a floppy and limp arm, later diagnosed as Erb’s Palsy.

In her lawsuit, Rae claimed that her 9.2 lb baby girl should have been delivered by C-section, given her size. The jury agreed and awarded Rae $1M, which included $116,500 for disability, $116,500 for disfigurement, $116,500 for past and future pain and suffering, $134,00 for past necessary medical expenses, and $516,500 for future medical treatment. The attorneys of Berkowitz and Hanna LLC have a significant amount of experience helping families of children born with Erb’s palsy due to medical malpractice or negligence.

Note: Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.