Medical Verdicts

Did delayed cesarean cause cerebral palsy in breech twin?


<court>Summit County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court</court>

Upon discovering a breech presentation for the second fetus in a set of twins, an obstetrician attempted to rotate the infant for a vaginal delivery. In the process, the child’s umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, causing heart-rate decelerations.

Nineteen minutes passed before the child was delivered by cesarean section, by which time he had suffered severe anoxia leading to cerebral palsy.

The infant plaintiff claimed the delay in cesarean delivery led to his injuries.

The physician maintained proper care was administered, and that the child’s injuries were known risks of breech birth.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $3.3 million.

The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn. ( 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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