California Mother Files Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit

Ava Lawson | June 17th, 2013 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Birth Injury LawsuitExum Medical Corporation, Janice M. Exum, M.D. and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center are listed as defendants in an Erb’s palsy lawsuit brought by a Compton, California mother and her child. The complaint is requesting damages for general negligence, medical malpractice, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Court documents allege that the defendants, Exum Medical Corporation and its attending physicians, failed to provide proper medical care and services to the plaintiff during her pre-natal care and delivery, causing the plaintiff’s infant daughter to suffer injuries to her left arm and cranium resulting in Erb’s palsy.

The plaintiff’s birth injury lawyer filed the case in Los Angeles Superior Court, and argues that the physician’s negligence in the assessment of a natural birth caused the minor child’s permanent nerve damage and injuries. The case was added to the California court dockets on May 24, 2013.

Gross medical negligence cited in Erb’s palsy lawsuit

The Compton woman had four previous childbirths, all vaginal, so during her birth plan discussions with her physician, Dr. Exum recommended a natural birth (no Cesarean section), saying the fetal size and weight were normal and referred the plaintiff to another doctor at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. At the time of delivery, the plaintiff contends that the birth was exceedingly difficult, and that several times she stopped pushing, telling her doctor she was physically unable as “she felt too much pressure and that the baby could not come out.” The physician then made the decision to use vacuum extraction to assist in the delivery, which the plaintiff says she did not consent to or have knowledge of.

During the vacuum- assisted vaginal delivery, the mother states she understood that the vacuum cap was not properly placed on the fetal head and the cap subsequently popped off. The vacuum was then reapplied to the fetal head until it was delivered. However, when the doctor realized that the fetal shoulders were firmly lodged and undeliverable, she allegedly pushed the infant’s head back into the vaginal canal and ordered an emergency C-section. The Cesarean section was performed, and the baby was delivered on November 26, 2012 with a birth weight of just over 10.5 pounds.

Though plaintiff claims that her doctor told her everything was fine, in reality, her newborn daughter was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she remained for the next 60 days. The attending NICU doctor, Steve Cho, M.D., stated that when he received the infant under his care, she was “bruised and purple without oxygen in the brain.” The plaintiff says that as a direct result of the defendant’s negligent actions and failure to properly determine fetal birth weight, her daughter has sustained injuries to her left arm and head and will require surgery to treat her Erb’s palsy.

Damages requested by plaintiff

The California plaintiff is demanding a trial by jury and requests monetary relief for:

  • Compensatory damages
  • Special damages
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court costs
  • Other fees that the court deems just and proper 

Birth injury malpractice and legal recourse

If your family has been burdened with the physical, emotional and financial hardships of a birth-related trauma caused by medical mistakes, speak with an experienced birth injury lawyer at Balkin & Eisbrouch to get the answers and representation your child deserves. Compensation from an Erb’s palsy lawsuit can help parents pay for hospital costs, home care, lost income, and other economic losses. For your free case evaluation, please call our law offices today.

  1. MedLine Plus, Brachial Plexus Injuries in Newborns

  2. AAOS, Erb's Palsy (Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy)