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Negligence may have played a role in serious birth injury

The birth of a child is usually the most joyous occasion in a New Jersey parent’s life. However, when negligence may have resulted in harm to a child during delivery, the implications can be serious and sometimes even life-long. One mother believes that her daughter’s permanent condition was caused by the doctor who delivered her, and claims that he should have performed a C-section after it was realized that they were dealing with shoulder dystocia, an emergency in which an infant’s shoulders are not quickly delivered after the head.

While in labor, the mother noted that the attending obstetrician was aware of her unborn daughter’s shoulder dystocia. Instead of pursuing other emergency options, she says that he made multiple failed attempts to adjust her daughter’s position. Ultimately, the doctor delivered her daughters right shoulder first and then the left. After examination, it was apparent that the newborn’s left arm was not moving correctly, and was noted to be floppy.

Her daughter, who is now three years old, suffers from brachial plexus injury, which places serious limitations on how much movement she has in her left arm. The girl also has nerve root damage. Both of these injuries are believed to have been caused during her delivery and, in the year following her birth, her mother filed a medical malpractice claim.

Although the hospital at which she delivered was at one point in time a defendant named in the medical malpractice claim, they have since been dismissed. However, the obstetrician is still named in the case. When negligence results in the serious injury of a child that might have otherwise been prevented, New Jersey parents may find it appropriate to pursue a medical malpractice case. Successfully litigating this type of claim can be important for those injured, as compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering can be a valuable tool on the road to recovery.

Source:, "Child's birth injury subject of medical malpractice case at trial", Ann Maher, Aug. 12, 2014

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Alan D. Bell
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