Responsible Parties in Birth Injury Litigation
New York and New Jersey Erbys Palsy Law Firm
If your child has suffered a birth injury, you know how quickly dreams for a “normal” future can change. In some cases, physical therapy and surgery might correct the damage done. In other cases, your child may face life-long difficulties. If the injury is to the brachial plexus nerves, your child may suffer a shoulder injury that keeps him or her from ever using the affected arm again.
This kind of birth injury is preventable. If the medical history of the mother shows that there may be a shoulder dystocia at birth, or it is known that the infant may be a large size, then the medical staff should be prepared. If a problem occurs during the birth, you expect the staff to respond correctly. Sadly, there are thousands of children born with brachial plexus injuries every year because of errors in the delivery room.
Responsible parties for your child’s brachial plexus injury may include:
The doctor who is delivering your child should know what the medical status is of both you and the infant. The doctors must also abide by high standards of care in the delivery room or otherwise the infant can be injured. The physician may also be responsible for the actions of parties in the delivery room, such as nurses. If there is a birth injury caused by either the doctors or nurses under these circumstances, the doctor is liable. Significantly, Erb’s palsy is caused when the infant’s shoulder is stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone and the doctor applies traction on the head, stretching or tearing the brachial plexus nerves.
Nurses are busy during delivery and have many things to do. Among them are monitoring the expectant mother, communicating with the doctor regarding the condition of the mother, delivering medications and watching for side-effects of these medications. If there is no communication, or an error in the dosage of the medicine, the nurse may be the responsible party for a birth injury.
The employer of the doctor and staff has a duty to care for mothers who count on them for high standards of care. The hospital itself may be held liable for the staff it employs and their negligent acts that occur in that hospital.