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September 2019: Defense Verdict in Infant Erb’s Palsy Matter – Westchester County

September 15, 2019

Senior Partner Sean F.X. Dugan assisted by Partner Francesca L. Mountain and Associate Michael B. Manning obtained a defense ver­dict in Westchester County. In this matter, the plaintiff claimed that employees of defendant medical center carelessly mismanaged the plaintiff mother’s prenatal care by failing to diagnose an incompetent cervix and thus perform cerclage on her cervix upon admission to our client hospital on February 15, 2012. This omission allegedly caused preterm labor and delivery resulting in a 24 week gestation newborn. The infant was delivered via vaginal delivery in double footling breech position, in respiratory failure and with an Erb’s Palsy of the left upper extremity, on March 2, 2012. Plaintiffs claimed that defendant hospital employees failed to perform a C-section, failed to avoid a traumatic vaginal delivery, and improperly tugged on the fetus’ feet in delivering the newborn. Plaintiffs also alleged failure to properly resuscitate the infant upon delivery, failure to diagnose and treat brachial plexus injury to the left arm, pulmonary hypertension and aspiration, and infectious processes. Our attorneys argued that the hospital and co-defendant attending obstetrician did not depart from accepted medical practice by performing a vaginal breech delivery on March 2, 2012; that the co-defendant did not depart from accepted medical practice in his supervision of our then resident during this delivery; that our then resident did not exercise independent medical judgment during her participation in the delivery of this infant; and that the defendants did not depart from good practice by applying excessive lateral traction during the vaginal breech delivery of this infant on March 2, 2012. Our attorneys obtained a defense verdict and subsequently obtained a Judgment against the plaintiffs dismissing this matter in its en­tirety against our clients. Plaintiff did not file a Notice of Appeal.

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