Anapol Weiss attorney Stephen Pokiniewski obtained a $4 million verdict in Allentown, Pennsylvania on behalf of a mother and baby permanently injured when an obstetrician failed to perform a Caesarian section and ignored increased risks of shoulder dystocia, a condition in which the baby’s shoulder becomes trapped behind the mother’s pubic bone.
The young mother delivered her daughter vaginally despite a sonogram four days before the delivery that predicted a 10-pound baby, heavier than 99 percent of all fetuses. The 16-hour labor and delivery nearly killed the infant and left the mother with a severe vaginal tear that extended through her anal sphincter. The newborn suffered from hypoxia and wasn’t breathing or moving when she was born. The infant was resuscitated in the delivery room and was then transferred to Thomas Jefferson Hospital for emergency head cooling treatment.
“This case makes clear that a physician must listen to his patient’s concerns and not disregard the risk of injury to his patients when he is rendering treatment,” Pokiniewski said in a press release. “Patient safety has to come first.”
Both the mother and child have suffered physical disfigurement in addition to agonizing pain and emotional distress. The child, now four years old, still has weakness on her left side and suffers from cognitive and expressive speech delays. Her mother suffers from incontinence and other injuries as a result of the vaginal tear. The child is currently undergoing treatment including occupational, physical and speech therapy and is enrolled in a special education program.