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Verdict Reached In Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Case

In Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, a jury recently awarded $4 million to Erin McCarthy and her daughter Chloe, to compensate for medical negligence on the part of McCarthy's obstetrician that caused Chloe to suffer cerebral palsy and other neurological injuries.

According to the lawsuit, stemming from the August 2009 childbirth, Dr. Garry Karounos failed to perform a Caesarean section when McCarthy's labor was delayed, instead insisting that she continue with a natural delivery. McCarthy's attorney demonstrated that Dr. Karounos ignored clear signs that a Caesarean section was a better choice.

Court papers revealed that an ultrasound performed four days prior to Ms. McCarthy's delivery showed that her baby weighed approximately 10 pounds. Although she and her mother both expressed concerns about the safety of delivering such a large baby, Karounos stated that the weight was not a concern.

But when Ms. McCarthy was admitted to the hospital the following events transpired:

  • Her labor slowed and then stalled for around eight hours.
  • According to an expert witness, Karounos should have taken this as a clear indication that a Caesarean section was the safer choice.
  • Instead, the physician continued with a natural delivery, using forceps when McCarthy was too exhausted to push on her own.
  • During this process, the infant's shoulder became stuck on her mother's pelvis, which resulted in oxygen deprivation for nearly four minutes.

The baby was resuscitated by a neonatal intensive care team at the hospital, but was later diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy and other neurological injuries. Ms. McCarthy also sustained injuries during the birthing process that rendered her incontinent and unable to work.

OB/GYNs and other medical caregivers involved in the childbirth process have a responsibility to recognize and address potential complications, such as issues with a baby's size. When their oversight results in birth injuries to the mother or infant, they can be held liable. To learn more about taking appropriate legal action in Chicago, Illinois, contact an experienced attorney at Jeffrey M. Goldberg Law Offices.

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