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$1,785,510 Total Value of Settlement in Shoulder Dystocia or Brachial Plexus Injury Case

Daryl L. Zaslow, of Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP (Edison, Red Bank and Toms River), obtained the defendant’s policy limits of $1,000,000 as a settlement on behalf of 6-year-old girl with a permanent brachial plexus injury she sustained during her birth. A portion of the settlement is being used to purchase an annuity which will result in total payments to the child of $1.4 million, making the total value of the recovery $1,785,510.

The Plaintiff was born on February 12, 2007 at Virtua Memorial Hospital and the delivering obstetrician recognized that the delivery was complicated by shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is an obstetrical emergency which occurs when a baby’s shoulder gets trapped behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. In these circumstances the physician is required to use certain maneuvers to free the impacted shoulder without causing injury. To prevent injury to the brachial plexus nerves running from the neck through the shoulder/arm, the standard of care requires that the delivering physician not exert excessive force in attempts to deliver the child.

In this delivery, Mr. Zaslow argued that the defendant applied excessive traction as she attempted to free the shoulder, resulting in a permanent brachial plexus injury, and, limited function of the shoulder, arm and hand known as Erb’s Palsy. Although the injured child has had surgery, the injury remains permanent.