Mother Sues Puerto Rico Hospital Over Son’s Birth Injuries

Tracy Ray | April 15th, 2013

pregnant bellyOn February 12, 2013, a birth injury lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory. The plaintiff, who is a citizen of the British Virgin Islands, had given birth to her son at the Pavia Hospital in Santurce, Puerto Rico. She is suing the hospital, alleging that medical negligence on the part of the medical staff resulted in her son developing Erb’s palsy.

Lawsuit details tragic mistakes allegedly made by hospital staff

According to the birth injury lawsuit, during the pregnancy the baby had grown abnormally large due to the mother’s diabetes. An unusually large baby has a higher risk of complications during delivery, but despite this, the mother was not advised to undergo a C-section, the lawsuit states. Instead, the doctor advised a vaginal delivery and said he did not expect any problems to arise.

The lawsuit charges that the doctor “failed to exercise reasonable care in conducting necessary medical tests” prior to and during the birth. For example, an ultrasound would have alerted the doctor to the size of the baby, but was not conducted.

When the baby was born in January 2011, necessary medical professionals were not present at the hospital, the lawsuit alleges. There was no neonatologist, no pediatrician, and no extra nursing staff. When the hospital was asked for extra help, none was provided, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff further charges that she was not given painkillers during the birth, and that the doctor “yanked the baby out by force.” This allegedly resulted in the baby suffering Erb’s palsy, a disability characterized by weakness and lack of mobility in the arm, caused by damage to the brachial plexus nerves. The doctor allegedly commented on the delivery, “I would not like to see another one of those again in the next ten years.”

It is not known what the prognosis is for the child. He may suffer weakness and poor function in his arm for the rest of his life, or he may fully recover with physical therapy and/or surgery.

Birth injury litigation

Many birth injuries are unavoidable accidents. But in some cases, birth injuries are the result of mistakes or medical negligence on the part of the medical team, and could have been prevented if proper care was taken and protocols followed. In such cases, families may be eligible to file a birth injury lawsuit and recover damages to help pay for their child’s medical expenses.

If your child suffered Erb’s palsy or any other birth injuries caused by medical negligence, the legal team at Balkin & Eisbrouch is here to help. Our expert attorneys will seek justice on behalf of you and your child, exposing the negligence in court and fighting to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free evaluation of your case. There is no fee unless we win you a settlement.