Kline & Specter has a winning track record in birth injury litigation, including numerous cerebral palsy cases, with verdicts and settlements reaching into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
With the most doctor/lawyers in the nation – five on staff full-time, including two accomplished OB/GYNs – our law firm is uniquely positioned to evaluate your case promptly and expertly and to achieve often extraordinary results. If you feel the medical staff that attended to the birth of your child is responsible for healthcare errors that caused your baby pain, injury or death, contact us for free consultation. We handle medical malpractice lawsuits for birth injury victims and their families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and nationwide.
Among our outstanding results was a nearly $42 million verdict for a child who suffered a forceps injury at birth that resulted in severe brain damage. The defendant in the case was the U.S. government, which had employed the doctor who committed the egregious error.
Other legal successes include the following:
- $100 million — One of our attorneys secured this record-setting verdict for a baby who suffered severe brain damage as a result of medical malpractice. It was the largest-ever compensatory damages award in Pennsylvania.
- $57 million — This verdict from Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) Pennsylvania involved a midwife whose actions caused infant oxygen deprivation that resulted in cerebral palsy.
- $42.9 million — This verdict was in favor of a baby girl who was badly injured during delivery at a Philadelphia hospital.
- $20 million — This was the settlement in a birth injury lawsuit involving negligent care during labor and delivery that resulted in a catastrophic brain injury.
- $19 million — This was a confidential settlement on behalf of an infant who suffered cerebral palsy due to a delayed C-section
- $15 million — The settlement came against a doctor and a nurse in a New Jersey case.
- $14.5 million — A verdict in Johnstown, Pa., for a boy who suffered cerebral palsy due to mishandled delivery. The Jury award was the largest-ever in a medical malpractice case in federal court in western Pennsylvania.
For information on birth injuries, consider the following:
- Cerebral Palsy & Erb’s Palsy
- Risks During Pregnancy
- Birth Injury During Labor
- Birth Injury During Delivery
- Birth Injury Following Delivery
- Understanding Your Rights
- Major Birth Injury Verdicts & Settlements
- Contact Us
Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy Birth Injuries
Two of the most common birth injuries are cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy, both of which can be devastating for children and their families.
Cerebral palsy is not a disease, it is a result of brain damage and it may be caused during pregnancy, labor or delivery. The condition may be more common in women who suffered maternal infection or in babies who are born jaundiced. Oxygen deprivation during delivery can cause cerebral palsy as well. An estimated 500,000 Americans have the condition, which causes permanent physical disabilities and may require a lifetime of special care.
Erb’s palsy is a condition caused by nerve damage around the shoulder, or brachial plexus. This generally occurs during a difficult childbirth and may be related to the forceful removal of a baby from the birth canal. Also known as brachial palsy, Erb’s palsy can cause complete paralysis of the arm that may require surgery to correct.
Risks During Pregnancy
Birth injury is often thought of as something that occurs during labor or delivery, but many risk factors along with warning signs of potential complications may be present during pregnancy. Your doctor, midwife, nurse practitioner or another healthcare provider is obligated to provide you with the highest standard of care. This includes taking time to assess conditions during pregnancy that may place your unborn baby at risk for serious injury.
During pregnancy, your health, as well as the health of your baby, must be monitored. This is especially true for women who are older, who have had more than one child, or who have a pre-existing condition such as thyroid disease or an autoimmune disorder.
Risks for birth injury are significantly increased when indications of a potential labor or delivery complication arise. These may include:
- Maternal infection
- Gestational diabetes
- Maternal obesity
Lifestyle factors may also play a role in birth injury risks. These include tobacco and alcohol use, illicit drug and narcotic use, and untreated STD/STI. Personal choices that place your unborn baby in harm's way may diminish your ability to seek compensation for legitimate medical negligence. It is best to take care of yourself during pregnancy to reduce risks for you and your baby.
However, your behavior does not excuse the poor behavior of medical staff and, if you believe your child’s injury could have been prevented had proper care been provided during your pregnancy, our firm will review your case and help you determine if you have cause to file suit.
Birth Injury During Labor
When you go into labor, swift action is essential. From the moment you enter the hospital or birthing center, the actions performed by staff and doctors will play a direct role in the safety of you and your baby.
Proper monitoring is key during labor. Modern hospitals are equipped with technology that can track maternal and fetal oxygen levels and blood flow. This enables medical staff to take immediate action should a problem arise. But improper monitoring is not uncommon - and many mothers and children have suffered as a result.
In addition to improper monitoring and failure to respond to warning signs, risks for birth injury during labor may be increased due to:
Birth Injury During Delivery
Injury sustained during delivery may be caused by excessive force. Forceps and vacuum injuries are also common during delivery. Additional injuries that are possible during birth include:
Some babies who sustain a birth injury due to medical error may require a lifetime of care and treatment. This means parents should never hesitate to consult an attorney to help prevent similar healthcare provider errors in the future and to ensure that your family receives the compensation it needs to provide that lifetime of care.
Birth Injury Following Delivery
Even after your baby is born, he or she remains at risk for harm by negligent healthcare providers. Many conditions may be caused or exacerbated by improper care following delivery. These include:
- Over- or under-medication
- Failure to look at patient charts for pre-existing conditions
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Failure to respond to maternal distress
- Suffocation (asphyxiation)
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
- Failure to provide oxygen
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Failure to execute necessary medical procedures
- Failure to diagnose infection