Cleveland Attorney Says Mother Awarded $13 Million in Birth Injury and Disfigurement Lawsuit
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) January 17, 2014 – Libbey Bryson’s daughter was permanently injured at birth when doctors pulled on the 8-pound, 8-ounce baby’s head to dislodge her arm from Libbey’s pelvic bone, according to court documents.
“Doctors are trained for emergencies like this and even practice shoulder dystocia maneuvers and other techniques, so they’re prepared when they happen,” says Christopher Mellino, a birth injury lawyer in Cleveland. “But instead of performing a C-section, as they should have in this case, residents kept pulling the child.”
The hospital argued that its doctors followed proper procedure and that a caesarean section was not warranted. It plans to appeal the $12.9 million verdict, which will be reduced to around $4 million due to state caps on non-economic damages, Bryson’s birth injury lawyer stated.
In the meantime, Bryson’s now five-year-old daughter has undergone several surgeries for severed nerves in her disfigured right arm, and she must wear a brace.
“The damage will require continued therapy and assistance in completing basic daily tasks, such as brushing her hair or getting dressed,” mlive.com reported.
Larger babies are more apt to become stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone, says whattoexpect.com. Mellino has seen these issues many times in his nearly 30-year legal career. In fact, one client filed a birth injury lawsuit when her 10.5-pound baby’s shoulders became stuck, crimping the umbilical cord and causing oxygen and blood deprivation.
“Mellino argued the doctor should have estimated [the baby's] weight before the delivery, performed a caesarean section instead of using forceps and used proper maneuvers to try to get [the baby] unstuck,” the Plain Dealer reported when a jury awarded Mellino’s client $3.99 million in damages.
Mellino encourages parents to at least speak with a birth injury attorney if they suspect that a mistake caused an injury, disability or disfigurement. Ohio law limits the amount of time an injured person has to file a claim, and funds awarded can go a long way toward medical bills, rehabilitation costs and other expenses, including lost wages.
“Unfortunately,” he says, “sometimes a bad outcome is just a bad outcome. It’s our job as lawyers to differentiate between true medical malpractice and cases that do not constitute medical negligence in the eyes of the law. Never hesitate to call our office with any questions you may have. That’s what we’re here for.”
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