Illinois jury awards $1 million in lawsuit over baby born with Erb’s palsy due to birth injury

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by Michael Heygood

An Illinois woman who gave birth to a baby with Erb’s palsy has been awarded a $1 million verdict against the doctor who delivered the child. The lawsuit filed by Jamie Rae on behalf of her daughter, Bailei, alleged that a birth injury she suffered during the delivery was caused by negligence on the part of the obstetrician.

Rae presented herself to Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois in March of 2001. She was induced around 6 a.m. and asked to start pushing later that day, around 4 p.m. The baby weighed 9.2 ounces and based on the baby’s large size, the attending obstetrician should have decided to deliver the baby via C-section, according to a lawsuit filed by Rae.

During vaginal delivery, the baby’s shoulders became lodged in the birth canal. The obstetrician attempted various maneuvers that failed to guide the baby’s posterior shoulder, according to the lawsuit. After turning the mother over, the doctor was eventually able to deliver the baby’s right shoulder and then the left. However, one of the newborn’s arms was noted in medical records as “floppy.”

The child was ultimately diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the upper group of the arm’s main nerves. Rae’s lawsuit alleged that the injury was caused when the doctor “negligently applied excessive downward traction and/or excessive tilting of [the baby’s] head, causing permanent nerve root damage and brachial plexus injury.”

A Madison County, Illinois jury has rendered a $1 million verdict against the Maryville doctor who delivered Rae’s child. The jury determined that the doctor’s negligence caused the child’s shoulder injury. The jury awarded approximately $350,000 in damages for disfigurement, disability and pain and suffering, $134,000 to compensate the family for past medical care, and $516,500 to cover expected future medical treatment and services.

Find an experienced, qualified lawyer to help with your medical malpractice claim

To successfully bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim on behalf of a child, clients need an experienced, educated attorney on their side. They also need an attorney with the financial resources to take the case to trial.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are proud of the work we have done on behalf children who have been unfortunately injured as a result of the negligence of others., including:

  • $36 million jury verdict for a child who suffered brain damage and other serious injuries in a bus crash on the way to church camp.
  • $6.7 million verdict in a personal injury lawsuit against the United States for medical errors at a VA hospital, which caused permanent brain damage to an 8-year-old child.
  • $2.2 million jury verdict in a personal injury lawsuit involving improper discharge of a newborn from the hospital with low glucose levels, resulting in moderate brain damage.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has the knowledge, experience and financial resources necessary to prosecute even the most complex medical negligence case. Our firm is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. In addition, our partners Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson have all been voted by their peers as Super Lawyers in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

Our firm’s success is largely due to the fact that we are real trial attorneys and have tried hundreds of cases to verdict. Mr. Heygood, Mr. Orr, and Mr. Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

If you believe you or a loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice, please contact us by calling us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or by filling out our case evaluation form for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

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* Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2014.