Baltimore County (Md) Circuit Court—During labor, an Ob/Gyn encountered arrest of fetal descent. He eventually delivered the fetus using forceps and encountered a shoulder dystocia. The infant suffered a fractured collarbone and a brachial plexus injury, resulting in Erb’s palsy.
The mother asserted there were indications of cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), a condition that warrants a cesarean delivery. The physician contended there were no signs of CPD. The patient’s records, however, contained notes from the defendant indicating there were “clinical indications of CPD with a small mother and a large baby.” He also said shoulder dystocia is a regularly occurring complication of childbirth.
The jury awarded the plaintiff $425,000.
The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.