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Brachial Plexus Lawsuit – Should You File One?

A brachial plexus lawsuit is a way for families to receive compensation for a doctor or hospital’s negligence during birth. Brachial plexus injuries can cause lifelong harm to children. Nerves that run from from the spinal cord down to the neck, shoulders, and arms can sustain severe damage. 

Do you believe medical malpractice played a role in your child’s injury? Are you thinking of filing a brachial plexus lawsuit? Contact the team of Hampton & King. We can help you navigate the ins and outs of a malpractice lawsuit. Reach out to us for a free, no hassle consultation. 

Mother holds baby with brachial plexus injury.

What Is A Brachial Plexus Injury?

Our brachial plexus is a network of five nerves. They are responsible for carrying movement and sensory signals from the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hand. These nerves provide sensation to everything from the arms down. They also give us the ability to move these parts. If this bundle of nerves becomes damaged, it is usually because of some sort of trauma to the neck. 

In the case of birth injuries, the trauma stems from these nerves stretching. The severity of the damage is related to how much these nerves are stretched. Mild stretching may result in mild injuries. Extensive stretching during the birth of a baby could lead to permanent damages though. And this may never be reversed. Having a team of professionals experienced in fighting for families who are victims of medical negligence can help. 

Brachial Plexus & Medical Malpractice

The numbers of brachial plexus birth injuries have declined in the past several years. That doesn’t mean these injuries are nonexistent. Unfortunately, doctors are still making negligent mistakes that can result in permanent damage. It could also mean a lifetime of therapy, medical bills, and emotional trauma for children and their families. 

So what sort of neglect results in a brachial plexus injury? What warrants a brachial plexus lawsuit?

When babies are passing through the birth canal, there is a possibility they may get stuck. Doctors may resort to the pulling motion to help get baby out. In the process, the nerves can become stretched. Usually, this doesn’t cause too much damage. However, in some cases, excessive force is used and the results can be devastating.

The use of excessive force is one way doctors may be negligent in cases of brachial plexus injuries. Doctors and medical staff members can also be negligent if they missed the signs of a complicated labor. Perhaps the doctor failed to perform a necessary c-section. This could have prevented the complications and injuries and ultimately, a brachial plexus lawsuit. 

Major Doctor Neglect Leads To Injury

A pregnant woman from New York went in for a 37 week check-up and medical staff discovered the child she was carrying was estimated to weigh about 9.6 pounds at that time. In similar situations doctors frequently opt for a c-section when the baby is too big. In this case, opting for a vaginal delivery could pose a huge risk to the mother and the baby, especially as the baby continued to grow each week. However, the doctor decided a c-section wasn’t necessary. When the baby was coming through the birth canal, his shoulders became stuck under the pubic bone. The doctor then performed the McRoberts maneuver. This is when excessive pressure is applied to the pubic bone to manipulate the shoulder. 

Unfortunately the doctor applied pressure to the brachial plexus while trying to get baby out. The result?

  • Nerve damage to the neck
  • Cephalohematoma: a collection of blood between scalp and skull caused by pressure to the head
  • Erb’s palsy: paralysis of upper arm muscles
  • Cognitive defects due to fetal distress
  • Speech delays

The settlement amount? $4,000,000 dollars.

Mother mourns baby's birth injury.

Filing A Brachial Plexus Lawsuit

Doctors have a responsibility to perform their duties with a certain standard of care. Most medical professionals do perform and act accordingly. Some unfortunately fail short of this golden standard. Preventable mistakes occur and negligence is still seen in so many cases across the nation. 

If your child was injured during birth because of a doctor’s negligence, it may be medical malpractice. And if the injury sustained concerned the brachial plexus, you may be able to file a brachial plexus lawsuit. 

A lawsuit can help you receive compensation and justice you deserve. Monetary compensation may not reverse the tragedy your family faced during your child’s birth. It can, however, help with other aspects of your life. A successful brachial plexus lawsuit can aid in the mountainous medical bills. It can also help your child gain access to more therapy.

Get in touch with the team of Hampton & King today to talk more about a brachial plexus lawsuit and go over your options.