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$5,500,000 Verdict in Erb’s Palsy, Shoulder Dystocia Trial

Daryl L. Zaslow obtained a $5,516,150 verdict on behalf of a 5-year-old girl with a brachial plexus injury. The delivery was complicated by shoulder dystocia. Plaintiff’s experts maintained that the permanent injury was caused by the doctor applying excessive lateral traction on the baby’s head after her shoulder was impacted on her mother’s pubic bone. Plaintiff underwent surgery to improve her condition and her pediatric neurologist testified that although she made significant improvement following the surgery, she still has permanent limitations and he could not rule out the need for another surgery.

The Defendant maintained that she never applied excessive traction on the baby’s head and that after properly diagnosing the shoulder dystocia, she easily freed the impacted shoulder by applying 2 appropriate maneuvers, McRoberts and Suprapubic pressure. The defendant’s expert opined that there are several causes for brachial plexus injuries other than excessive traction by the doctor and that the defendant did not deviate from accepted standards of care.

After deliberating for nearly 3 hours, the Essex County jury awarded the plaintiff $5,158,910 for disability, impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering, $225,000 for future lost wages and $132,240 for future medical expenses.