A Michigan woman in a birth injury lawsuit has been awarded almost $13 million by a jury.
The lawsuit alleged that Genesys Regional Medical Center made mistakes during the delivery of the woman’s daughter, disfiguring the girl and restricting her from the full use of her arm.
The lawsuit stated that during the January 2008 delivery, the baby’s shoulder became lodged underneath the pelvic bone, a condition that is known as shoulder dystocia.
Reported instances of shoulder dystocia have greatly increased in recent decades, perhaps as a result of a corresponding increase in average birth weight.
Shoulder dystocia can often be dealt with successfully during delivery, but the lawsuit argued that the doctor pulled down on the baby’s head too much, causing an injury to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves near the shoulder. The lawsuit claimed that the doctor should have recommended a cesarean section or used a different method that would place less stress upon the baby.
The hospital said that the mother received appropriate treatment and that there were no complications that indicated that a cesarean section was necessary.
The baby was born with a disfigured arm. Now five years old, she has undergone several surgeries and continues to wear a brace on her malformed arm. Doctors have classified the injury as permanent and have said that it will require continued therapy.