Negligence Alleged in Pitocin Birth Injury Lawsuit

Ava Lawson | January 24th, 2014 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Pitocin Birth Injury Lawsuit -Minor Plaintiff Suffers Irreparable HarmA Pitocin birth injury lawsuit filed by a New York woman and her minor child argues that negligent medical care before and during the plaintiff’s labor caused her daughter’s severe and permanent injuries. The suit lists Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Healthcare System as defendants, along with several attending health care providers who are employed by the clinics.

The plaintiffs are seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages for injuries the child incurred, including a fractured left humerus (bone in the upper arm), seizures, perinatal depression, brain hemorrhages and hypoxic ischemia, and a brachial plexus injury. According to the complaint, as a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s negligent actions, the little girl has required surgery, extensive medical treatment and will require further care to address injuries she sustained during her birth.

Birth injury lawsuit alleges Pitocin errors

In failing to perform timely and comprehensive prenatal examinations of the mother plaintiff, the complaint argues, the defendants were unable to accurately assess the baby’s weight and risks for shoulder dystocia.

After a prolonged labor, in which the mother was given Pitocin at various intervals, her induced vaginal labor was complicated when the baby’s shoulders became lodged in the birth canal. Subsequent errors and omissions on the part of medical staff allegedly caused the child to suffer irreparable harm.

The attending midwives, nurses and delivery room staff are accused of the following acts of negligence:

  • Failing to account for potential late-term delivery complications
  • Failing to properly monitor the fetal heart rate
  • Failing to discontinue Pitocin in a timely manner
  • Failing to properly respond to fluctuations in the fetal heart rate
  • Using improper techniques to manage shoulder dystocia
  • Failing to call for a competent physician when the baby’s heart rate was discernable
  • Failing to properly train and supervise midwives, nurses and others who cared for the mother plaintiff
  • Failing to identify significant risk factors for fetal distress
  • Failing to exercise the degree of skill and proficiency that any other reasonable practitioner would have used under similar circumstances

The lawsuit further alleges that Robert Packer School of Nursing should be held vicariously liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, in addition to the Guthrie Healthcare System. The minor child, who was born in 2006, had two operations during her first year of life. The first was an excision of neuromas on her brachial plexus nerves, and the second was a nerve repair and reconstruction of her suprascapular nerve with a graft.

A synthetic version of oxytocin, Pitocin is often given to induce labor, but the drug has been linked to low APGAR scores and other complications in some studies. Despite these potential risks, the CDC found that in 2010 more than 23 percent of all U.S. women were administered Pitocin to speed up labor.

Questions? Expert legal advice from Balkin & Eisbrouch

If you suspect your child’s brachial plexus birth injury was caused by doctor negligence, contact the law firm of Balkin & Eisbrouch to speak with an experienced attorney who will evaluate your case at no charge. Our legal team is well-versed in claims stemming from birth injury malpractice and we are dedicated to helping innocent children and their parents securing the compensation to which they are entitled. Call today for a free consultation to determine if you have grounds for bringing a Pitocin birth injury lawsuit.


  1. Huffington Post, Pitocin Risks? Study Raises Concern About Drug's Safety During Childbirth, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/pitocin-risks_n_3224811.html

  2. Mayo Clinic, Brachial Plexus Injury, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brachial-plexus-injury/basics/definition/con-20028265