Jury awards $12.9 million in Michigan mother’s Erb’s palsy lawsuit over medical malpractice during childbirth

by John Chapman

A Michigan jury has awarded a Flint woman nearly $13 million in her medical malpractice lawsuit against Genesys Regional Medical Center. Libbey Bryson claimed that mistakes during childbirth left her daughter disfigured and without the full use of her right arm.

Bryson gave birth to her daughter at Genesys in 2008. During the birth, the baby became stuck in the birth canal when her head caught on the pelvic bone. Bryson alleged that, at that point, the hospital’s medical staff should have delivered the baby via Caesarian, or used a delivery method that would have resulted in less strain on the baby. Instead, the staff proceeded with a natural delivery.

Bryson alleged that the staff pulled down too hard on the baby’s head during the vaginal deliver process, severing the nerves in the child’s right arm and leaving her with Erb’s palsy. The hospital argued that the injuries resulting from the natural child birth process.

The child has since undergone numerous surgeries attempting to correct the problem and she continues to wear a brace on her right arm. Bryson alleged that her daughter will need further therapy as well as assistance to perform numerous basic tasks such as dressing herself or brushing her hair

The jury’s $12.9 million award will be reduced, probably to about $4 million, due primarily to a Michigan state law that caps “non-economic” losses at $433,400. The law limits the amount of certain types of damages, such as pain and suffering, that can be recovered in a medical malpractice case.

Do you have a medical malpractice claim?

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the experience and expertise to assist injured patients with their medical malpractice claims. Our attorneys have successfully represented numerous victims of medical malpractice. Among our attorneys’ recent verdicts, settlements and results are the following:

  • Jim Orr negotiated a $6.75 million settlement for the family of an 8 year-old child who suffered permanent brain damage due to medical errors occurring at a VA hospital.
  • Michael Heygood achieved a $2.2 million jury verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit arising from the premature discharge of a newborn infant from the hospital with low glucose levels.
  • Eric Pearson argued the appeal in Columbia Medical Center of Las Colinas, Inc. v. Hogue, 271 S.W.3d 238 (Tex. 2009), in which the Texas Supreme Court upheld a gross negligence finding against the defendant hospital in a medical malpractice case and affirmed the jury’s $9 million verdict on behalf of his clients.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have the knowledge, experience and financial resources necessary to prosecute even the most complex medical negligence case. 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 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

by John Chapman

John Chapman is a licensed attorney with experience in complex commercial litigation (including securities fraud, RICO, shareholder oppression, and derivative actions) and personal injury litigation.