Erbs Palsy medical negligence cases usually involve one or more of the following issues:
Failure to estimate the baby's weight before delivery
Failure to perform a cesarean section
Failure to diagnose and treat gestational diabetes
Failure to inform parents of the risks inherent in vaginally delivering a large infant.
Failure to perform appropriate delivery techniques to manage shoulder dystocia
Applying unnecessary and excessive force during the delivery
Applying inappropriate delivery techniques to manage shoulder dystocia
In general, in order to recover for medical malpractice a plaintiff must (1) establish a doctor-patient relationship; (2) demonstrate that the doctor's performance did not conform to good or accepted medical practices; and (3) show that damage resulted from the doctor's failure to conform to good medical practices.
In the case of deliveries that result in a form of brachial plexus palsy, the plaintiff must first establish that the delivering doctor (if this is the party being sued) and the infant that the doctor delivered had a doctor-patient relationship. In most cases this inquiry should be straightforward. If the doctor is acting voluntarily in delivering the child, the doctor-patient relationship most likely exists.
In order to establish that the doctor failed to act in a manner consistent with good medical practices, the plaintiff must offer expert testimony on the issue. This expert testimony must establish that the defendant doctor failed to exercise the degree of care, skill, and proficiency exercised by reasonably careful, skillful, and prudent practitioners in the same class, acting under the same or similar circumstances. Simply put, the plaintiff must show that a competent doctor would have act differently in order to prevent injuring the child. In the case of brachial plexus injury, this may require a showing that a competent doctor would have prevented the shoulder dystocia or would have followed protocols that would have prevented the shoulder dystocia from resulting in the brachial plexus injury. In a medical practice suit concerning brachial plexus palsy, this element of the case will most often represent the most important and pivotal aspect of the plaintiff's case.
Finally, the plaintiff must establish that as a result of the doctor's negligence the plaintiff suffered damages. In the case of Brachial Plexus Palsy, damages can include medical expenses for treatment, pain and suffering, if the injury results in permanent palsy perhaps loss of future earnings, and any other economic and non-economic damages that the plaintiff might suffer.
Because the details and requirements of medical malpractice claims are complex, it is imperative that you contact us if you or someone you know suffers from a palsy that could be related to doctor error during delivery