Past President Molly H. Craig obtained a defense verdict following a five-day medical malpractice trial in Florence County, South Carolina. This case was initially tried in September 2015 and resulted in a mistrial during the direct examination of the Plaintiff’s rebuttal witness.
Plaintiff alleged the Defendant physician was negligent during the Plaintiff’s labor and delivery which caused the baby to sustain severe and permanent injury to his brachial plexus nerves. During the delivery, the child’s anterior shoulder did not deliver and became stuck under the mother’s pubic bone signifying a “shoulder dystocia.” According to the Plaintiff, the physician applied excessive traction in an attempt to deliver the baby and this pulling force resulted in permanent nerve damage involving C5, C6, and C7.
The defense proved that shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency which was properly managed by the Defendant physician. The defense also presented testimony from obstetricians and a pediatric neurologist addressing alternative causes for a brachial plexus injury other than the use of excessive force by the delivering physician. The jury returned a defense verdict.