A Minnesota medical malpractice jury found in favor of the plaintiff on September 28, 2018 for the serious and permanent injuries suffered by her 10.5 pound baby as a result of the defendant midwife underestimating the size of the baby and allowing the mother to attempt a vaginal delivery. The nurse-midwife had estimated that the baby would weigh approximately 6 pounds at birth, despite the mother telling her during her pregnancy that the baby seemed larger than her first baby.
The baby suffered a fractured right arm and severe nerve damage as a result of shoulder dystocia during his birth on January 22, 2016. The mother’s Minnesota medical malpractice birth injury lawsuit alleged that the defendant nurse-midwife used excessive force in attempting to deliver the baby, who became stuck in his mother’s birth canal due to his large size. An expert who testified on behalf of the plaintiff at trial opined that the force used during the delivery was seven to eight times the average traction used during a routine delivery. As a result, the newborn suffered stretched and torn nerves from the excessive force employed in an attempt to extract him.
The defense argued to the Minnesota medical malpractice jury that the defendant midwife acted appropriately and quickly when the shoulder dystocia complication was diagnosed. A physician then employed an episiotomy to deliver the baby. Nonetheless, the newborn required immediate and intensive care and treatment after his birth, and subsequently required two surgeries to repair the nerve damage he had suffered and to restore to him as much as possible the use of his right arm. Despite having received physical therapy and Botox injections as part of his medical treatment, the child reportedly suffers such intense pain that he bites his own hand.
The Minnesota medical malpractice jury determined that the defendant midwife was negligent in failing to discuss with the mother her delivery options, including a Cesarean section delivery, and that a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position may have opted for a C-section instead of a vaginal delivery.
The defense indicated on October 1, 2018 that it would appeal the verdict. The parties then agreed to set aside the verdict and to engage in mediation in an effort to settle the Minnesota birth injury lawsuit.
Midwives reportedly delivered almost 13% of the 69,749 births in Minnesota during 2017. Deliveries attended to by midwives have increased in the United States during the past ten years. Midwives reportedly are subjected to less medical malpractice claims than physicians who deliver babies.
If you or your baby suffered a birth injury (or worse) during labor and/or delivery in Minnesota or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Minnesota birth injury lawyer, or a birth injury lawyer in your state, who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you and your child in a birth injury medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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