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Shoulder Dystocia Lawsuit Results in $4.2M Jury Award Over Birth Injury

A Pennsylvania family has been awarded $4.2 million in damages for a shoulder dystocia birth injury, which was allegedly caused by medical malpractice during delivery. 

The case was brought by Marian Leoma, over a severe should injury suffered at birth by her child, Jenniyah Georges. According to a report by the Connecticut Law Tribune, the lawsuit was filed against Ob-Gyn Services and a certified nurse midwife, who allegedly failed to apply the proper technique.

Georges suffered permanent nerve damage occurred when her shoulder became caught on the mother’s pubic bone during delivery in 2009. The birth injury left Georges with a life-long shoulder injury, where her right arm is shorter than the other, weakened, and suffers from limited mobility.

Should dystocia, which is also commonly referred to as Erb’s palsy or a brachial plexus injury, involves shoulder paralysis caused by permanent nerve damage. In many cases the injury is linked to medical mistakes or neglect during delivery, occurring when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the mother’s pelvic bone and medical providers do not take the proper steps to address the problem.

According to the complaint, the defendants failed to diagnose that the child, now seven years old, had her shoulder stuck in Leoma’s birth canal and claimed that they grabbed onto the baby’s head and tried to twist and turn her free, resulting in injury.

Following a six-day trial that ended last Friday in Connecticut Superior Court, a jury awarded Georges and her family $4.2 million. The jury came to the decision after nearly eight hours of deliberation.

During the trial, the midwife denied the allegations that she had used the incorrect procedure.

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