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| Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

In 2006, a baby boy suffered permanent nerve damage to his arm while being born. The injury was caused by a negligent care by a midwife during the birth process. A Norfolk, Virginia (VA) jury awarded the victim $2.3 million in compensation.

Negligent Care Caused a Permanent Injury

The crisis during the delivery was the occurrence of a complication known as “shoulder dystocia.” In simple terms, the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. The baby’s body cannot emerge as easily as normal. An informational website on shoulder dystocia refers to these emergencies as “the greatest nightmare an obstetrician is likely to face.”

In this instance, the midwife negligently pulled the child’s head and arms to get the child from the birth canal. The midwife was hired by the obstetrician/gynecologist of the mother. The child now has a permanently disabled right arm.

Firm Stands Up and Fights for the Injured Child

Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complex, time-consuming, and expensive to litigate. In Virginia, laws have been passed to make it extremely difficult for an injured party, even an injured child, to pursue financial restitution against a negligent medical provider. For example, in order to get a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Virginia, the injured party must possess a “Certificate of Merit” from a medical professional practicing in the same field as the negligent medical provider. The legal hurdles associated with medical negligence cases has resulted in many lawyers and law firms declining to take on serious medical malpractice and birth negligence cases.

Not our firm.

Shapiro, Appleton & Duffan represented the injured boy. The firm fought valiantly to get the injured child as much compensation as possible because we understood that the child’s life would be changed forever as a result of the birth injury. This child may never be able to play sports, ride a bike, or even get dressed normally without the assistance of another person, or special training because of the negligent care provided at birth.

See related Virginia medical malpractice information:

Attorneys Discuss Shoulder Dystocia and the Permanent Harm Associated with this Injury

Birth Injury Can Have Life-Altering Effects on a Child 

Nightmare in the Delivery Room

New Medical Technology May Help Prevent Shoulder Dystocia

Five Day Trial Results in Multi-Million Dollar Verdict

The defense team for the negligent midwife refused to offer a fair settlement, so the case went to trial in the Circuit Court for the City of Norfolk. After a five-day trial, which ended with five hours of deliberation, the jury returned a $2.3 million verdict. Our medical malpractice law firm was also able to secure $60,000 in special damages for the child’s mother for reimbursement of medical expenses.

Yes, this medical complication is a physician’s nightmare. And for the child, if not treated successfully, it is worse than a nightmare. The resulting injuries become a real, daily, life challenge. But thanks to the efforts of the legal team at Shapiro, Appleton, & Duffan, this boy has received the resources he will need to meet those challenges.

To learn more about this multi-million dollar jury verdict, read the case review here.

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