Erb’s Palsy Law Suit

A Jackson County WV woman is suing Charleston Area Medical Center after she claims they negligently cared for her child. On July 23, 2004, Julie Morris and Rowan Morris became patients of the defendants, according to a complaint filed May 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Julie Morris claims the defendants were careless, reckless and negligent in their care and treatment of Rowan Morris by negligently failing to warn Julie Morris that the prior shoulder dystocia in the delivery of the child increased the likelihood of subsequent shoulder dystocia in the delivery of Rowan Morris. The defendants also failed to properly and timely refer Julie Morris to a facility capable of caring for a high risk pregnancy, according to the suit.
Julie Morris claims the defendants’ negligence caused Rowan Morris to suffer severe, permanent and irreversible deficit and damage, including Erb’s Palsy.
Community Health Association d/b/a Jackson General Hospital; Partners in Health Network, Inc.; and Karen Fahey, CFNP, were also named as defendants in the suit claiming a violation of the applicable standard of care.

What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb's PalsyErb’s palsy is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the upper group of the arm’s main nerves, specifically the upper trunk C5-C6 is severed. These form part of the brachial plexus, comprising the ventral rami of spinal nerves C5-C8, and T1. These injuries arise most commonly, but not exclusively, from shoulder dystocia during a difficult birth. Depending on the nature of the damage, the paralysis can either resolve on its own over a period of months, necessitate rehabilitative therapy, or require surgery.

Erb’s Palsy Causes

The most common cause of Erb’s palsy is dystocia, an abnormal or difficult childbirth or labour. For example, it can occur if the infant’s head and neck are pulled toward the side at the same time as the shoulders pass through the birth canal. The condition can also be caused by excessive pulling on the shoulders during a vertex presentation (head first delivery), or by pressure on the raised arms during a breech delivery. Erb’s palsy can also affect neonates affected by a clavicle fracture unrelated to dystocia.

If your child has suffer Erb’s Palsy, or any other birth injury, call 843-722-8070 to speak to an attorney.