$250,000 Jury Verdict in Shoulder Dystocia Birth Injury Case

During the birth of Jasmyn Finch, the obstetrician, Dr. Claire Bernardin encountered Jasmyne’s shoulder stuck behind her mother’s pelvic bone or sacral promontory. When a shoulder dystocia does occur during the delivery phase, it is considered an emergency. It is a dangerous occurrence that can be overcome with the use of maneuvers, such as the McRoberts maneuver. Jasmyne suffered shoulder dystocia, but with the help of an assistant, Dr. Bernardin delivered Jasmyne. Unfortunately, Jasmyne was born with left brachial plexus injury.

As a result of the brachial plexus injury, Jasmyne, who is now 19, cannot lift her left arm above her shoulder. In addition, her left shoulder is 8 centimeters shorter than her right arm.

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that runs from the spine, neck and through the shoulders. In childbirth, when the shoulder gets stuck as in Jasmyne’s situation, the nerves can be stretched or torn and permanently disrupted. Some brachial plexus injuries heal without the need of surgery. But in this case, the injury to the right shoulder was permanent and devastating.

Jasmyne filed suit against Dr. Bernardin, alleging that the doctor was negligent in mishandling the shoulder dystocia by applying excessive traction during delivery. The jury entered its verdict for $235,000 for the permanent damages. The attorneys representing Jasmyne Finch were Michael J. Woody, Vernon Petri and Toni Purdum.

Finch v. Bernardin, No. 49 D 140405CT001001 (Ind. Super. Ct. Marion County, Sept. 19, 2014).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling shoulder dystocia or brachial plexus injury cases, birth brain injury cases and medical negligence cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Naperville, Winfield, Schaumburg, Winnetka, Wilmette, Oak Lawn, Park Forest, Palos Park, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights and Lake Bluff, Ill.

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