California Mother Files Negligence Lawsuit Over Son’s Erb’s Palsy

Tracy Ray | December 24th, 2012

baby faceOn November 30, 2012, a California mother filed a lawsuit against obstetrician Yamilee O. Bermingham, M.D., Sutter West Bay Hospitals, California Pacific Medical Center, and St. Lukes Hospital, charging that medical negligence during labor and delivery caused her son to suffer Erb’s palsy.

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Doctor refused mother’s request for C-section, lawsuit charges

According to her complaint, the mother had suffered from gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, her labor was long and difficult, and her baby was large, all of which are risk factors for shoulder dystocia – an emergency situation that can arise during delivery in which the baby’s shoulder gets wedged behind the mother’s pelvic bone, making delivery impossible without intervention. Typically, doctors attempt to alleviate this situation by changing the mother’s position or trying to maneuver the baby past the pelvic bone; if these strategies prove unsuccessful, a C-section is performed.

In this case, after a prolonged labor, the mother requested a C-section. But according to the birth injury lawsuit, the doctor ignored her request and the risk factors that were present and continued to proceed with a vaginal delivery without the mother’s informed consent. As a result, the lawsuit alleges, the baby did suffer shoulder dystocia, and during the attempts to deliver him, his brachial plexus nerves were damages, resulting in Erb’s palsy, a permanent disability characterized by weakness, loss of mobility, and loss of sensation in the arm, hand, or fingers. The plaintiff is seeking in excess of $25,000 in damages for her child’s injuries.

Get a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer

When infants suffer birth injuries such as Erb’s palsy because of mistakes made by the medical team in the delivery room, the family may be eligible to file a birth injury lawsuit on the child’s behalf. This type of litigation holds the responsible parties accountable for their actions and can help families obtain compensation for their child’s injuries and medical expenses. Balkin & Eisbrouch is a leader in the field of birth injury and malpractice litigation, with more than four decades of experience. Call us today for a free consultation about your case. If you do choose to pursue a lawsuit, you pay nothing unless we win you a settlement.