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Lawsuit Filed Over Brachial Plexus Injury

Infant in NICUA birth injury lawsuit has been filed in South Carolina on behalf of a minor child who suffered a brachial plexus injury during childbirth. The complaint asserts that the child’s condition, characterized as “severe and permanently debilitating injury, deformity, pain, and suffering, which requires costly medical treatment, limits his ability to engage in activities of daily living, decreases his enjoyment of life, and limits his vocational potential” was the alleged result of a mishandling of shoulder dystocia by the attending obstetrician during delivery.

The complaint was filed on March 5, 2015 in the United States District Court, District of South Carolina, Columbia Division.

Birth injury lawsuit filed in South Carolina

The complaint centers around the child’s brachial plexus injury, in which nerves running from the spinal cord down the neck and shoulder, and to the hands and fingers, are torn away resulting in paralysis, pain, and related limitations. The child’s parents were informed that the injuries he had suffered could be related to mishandling of shoulder dystocia during childbirth on July 7, 2013, when the child was just over three years of age.

The lawsuit names the United States of America as defendant and lists Oluseyi K. Ogunleye, M.D., the attending obstetrician and his staff, as a United States employee working for Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center d/b/a Waverly Women’s Health Care under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the complaint, the defendant doctor may have been responsible for the brachial plexus injury through the application of excessive force when shoulder dystocia was apparent as a complicating factor. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the infant’s shoulder is lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone during childbirth. Pulling the child with great force from the birth canal can potentially cause damage, such as torn brachial plexus nerves, which can result in permanent disability.

Plaintiff demands just compensation for infant’s injury

The complaint alleges that the child was, in all appearance, healthy before labor and delivery, and that the defendant failed to meet the accepted standard of care while attending to the delivery.

As the minor child in question now faces the need for long-term care and a lifetime of limitations, the plaintiffs are requesting compensation for his injuries. These include compensation for the injuries themselves, the “[a]dverse effects on various other bodily members and/or functions, such as gait, balance and skeletal and muscular symmetry of his shoulder, arm and hand,” past and future medical expenses, expenses associated with diminished vocational potential, “[p]ermanent impairments, deformity and disabilities,” and physical, mental, emotional, and psychological pain, suffering, and harm.

  1., Brachial plexus

  2. National Library of Medicine, MedLine Plus, “Brachial plexus injury in newborns”

  3. United Brachial Plexus Network, Inc., “What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?”