Medical Verdicts

Shoulder dystocia leads to nerve graft procedure


Nassau County (NY) Supreme Court

A woman presented to a hospital for delivery. During delivery, shoulder dystocia was encountered. The infant was born with nerve damage to the brachial plexus.

The child underwent a nerve graft procedure, in which the sural nerve from the back of her leg was grafted into the damaged brachial plexus. The infant recovered 90% to 95% use of her left arm.

In suing, the patient argued that the doctor applied excessive pressure to the infant’s head during delivery, resulting in the nerve damage. The physician contended that the delivery was difficult and that all appropriate maneuvers were performed.

  • The case settled for $750,000.
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.

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