Arizona residents may be interested in the details of a medical malpractice case that involved a birth injury. A mother has been awarded $3 million on behalf of her now 9-year-old son after a jury decided that the obstetrician who delivered him is responsible for nerve damage that partially paralyzed the boy's right arm.
The baby was born in 2008 after an induced labor, which the mother had agreed to after she had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It was known prior to the birth that the infant's shoulder was trapped behind the mother's pelvis. The lawsuit claimed that the obstetrician tugged too hard on the baby's head during delivery in an attempt to free the shoulder. The baby was born healthy except for his right arm. A few months later he was diagnosed with permanent nerve damage in his shoulder. He has undergone two surgical procedures that have improved his mobility, but he still has difficulty using his right arm, which has interfered with his ability to perform certain tasks and participate in athletics.
The mother's attorney stated that he had offered to settle with the obstetrician's insurer, but was refused. The doctor denied medical negligence, claiming that the child's injuries were caused by normal labor forces. An attorney not connected with the case said that it is unlikely that the doctor will lose his medical license because of the verdict.
Childbirth is a natural process, but most women turn to medical professionals to aid them through it. When a doctor takes on the task of delivering a baby, he or she has a duty of care to both the baby and the mother. Birth injuries are damages to the body or the health of a baby that occur during birth. The representatives of doctors and hospitals might instead put the blame on natural causes or sometimes even on the mother. Having medical professionals as witnesses could help the plaintiff to prove medical malpractice on the part of the doctor or hospital.