Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton, P.C. (Virginia Beach, VA) is proud to announce that James C. Lewis successfully obtained a plaintiff's verdict in favor of their clients in a birth injury case.
The infant plaintiff, who was four years old at the time of the trial, was born at Sentara Leigh Hospital on November 30, 2006. The infant plaintiff was delivered by a nurse midwife employed by the adult plaintiff's obstetrician/gynecologist. Labor and delivery took a total of 9 hours and 19 minutes. During the delivery the midwife encountered a shoulder dystocia that was documented to have taken three minutes to overcome. The midwife noted the use of the McRobert's maneuver, application of suprapubic pressure and adduction of the posterior shoulder in her efforts to overcome the dystocia. No reference appeared in the medical record to the application of traction to the child's head, neck or brachial plexus.
After suit was filed the defendant testified at her deposition and at trial that, in addition to the things noted in the chart, she has applied "gentle downward pressure" to the child's head and neck while attempting to overcome the dystocia. However, the child's grandmother and father disputed this description and described pulling, tugging and twisting of the child's head with much more force than admitted by the midwife.
During the closing argument, counsel for the plaintiff asked the jury to award the child $2.3 million and asked the jury to award the mother $60 thousand on account of medical expenses. The jury deliberated for slightly more than five hours and returned verdicts for both plaintiffs in exactly the amount requested.