Case: Medical Malpractice
By: William F. McMurry
In May of 2001, the plaintiff's mother went into labor. Her obstetrical care had been provided by her family doctor who was not board certified in obstetrics or gynecology. Although this would be the mother's third child, she was in labor for over 12 hours, an indication that the baby may be too large for vaginal delivery. The birth became complicated when the baby's shoulder impacted against the mother's pubic bone. Because of the large size of the baby, the doctor struggled to free the impacted shoulder and applied excessive force by pulling on the baby's head and shoulder. The resulting nerve injury, known as Erb's Palsy, means the plaintiff will never be able to use his left arm. This defendant is no longer practicing medicine.