Illinois Mom Blames Doctor for Daughter’s Brachial Plexus Injury

Shay Morrigan | January 23rd, 2013 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Erb's PalsyAn Illinois mother, individually and as parent of her young daughter, filed a new erb’s palsy lawsuit against the Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center of Chicago on August 3, 2012. The plaintiff claims that the doctor overseeing her child’s delivery and the hospital are liable for the brachial plexus injury her daughter suffered during birth. The plaintiff’s erbs palsy lawyer originally filed her case in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. The case was removed to federal court in the Northern District of Illinois on December 6, 2012.

Plaintiff claims doctor to blame for brachial plexus injury

According to the complaint, the plaintiff was admitted to the Mount Sinai Hospital on July 3, 2010. The plaintiff mother claims that during the delivery, the doctor was careless in her use of lateral traction. She allegedly applied too much pressure to the infant’s head and neck, causing a brachial plexus injury, resulting in the permanent disabling condition known as erb’s palsy.

Erb’s palsy most often caused by excessive lateral traction

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves originating near the neck and shoulder that control the muscles of the shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand, and fingers. According to the United Brachial Plexus Network, “the overwhelming evidence is that the delivering practitioner applies too much traction on the baby’s head” during delivery. In doing so, the doctor can severely damage the nerves. Sometimes, the damage is so bad that the nerves are pulled completely out of the spinal cord, permanently limiting use of the arm.

Injuries like this are more likely when the baby suffers from shoulder dystocia—when the shoulder becomes lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone. The doctor may exert too much pressure when trying to dislodge the shoulder, causing a brachial plexus injury. This was the case in this lawsuit—the baby girl suffered from shoulder dystocia, and the doctor allegedly applied too much force in trying to free her.

Erbs palsy lawyer seeks to hold doctor liable

Shoulder dystocia is not a common occurrence, but it does happen often enough that most hospitals have established criteria for treating it without damaging the baby. The plaintiff in this case states that the doctor failed to follow hospital protocol and procedure when trying to free the infant’s shoulder.

The child has been left with permanent and irreversible injuries, and is now permanently disabled and handicapped.

If you or a loved one had a child who was injured during delivery, contact an erbs palsy lawyer at Balkin & Eisbrouch. We understand the traumatic and lasting nature of these injuries, and will fight to win justice for you and your family. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 855-60-BIRTH.

  1. Erb's Palsy, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00077

  2. NINDS Brachial Plexus Injuries Information, National Institute of Health. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brachial_plexus