In this case, it was alleged by the mother of a baby, now 3 years old, that the child’s shoulder dystocia occurred during labor and delivery, which caused an unnecessary and avoidable injury to her child. According to the lawsuit brought on behalf of Baby Doe, the obstetrician allegedly applied traction to release the baby’s shoulders. As a result, however, Doe suffered a brachial plexus injury. Baby Doe has been diagnosed as having Erb’s Palsy, which has led to a disfigurement.
The Doe family sued the hospital maintaining that it was liable for the negligence of the obstetrician who mishandled the shoulder dystocia by applying excessive traction.
The defendant hospital reportedly argued that Baby Doe’s injuries were from maternal forces of labor rather than excessive traction. That is a common defense in shoulder dystocia cases. Before trial, the parties settled for $375,000.