Napoli, Bern, Krentsel & Guzman Win $6.65 Million Award for Infant Erb’s Palsy Injury

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The Napoli, Bern, Krentsel & Guzman law firm have won a $6.65 Million jury award in favor of an infant client, for an Erb’s Palsy Injury. A Westchester County Jury unanimously determined that the defendant obstetrician had departed from good and accepted medical practice during the infant’s birth.

On November 10, 2005, a Westchester County Jury awarded an infant-plaintiff $6.65 million dollars for an Erb’s Palsy injury suffered at birth. The infant-plaintiff, Kaquon Burch, was born on October 13, 1994 at New Rochelle Hospital.

The plaintiff alleged that the delivery was complicated by a shoulder Dystocia. During the delivery, the infant’s head delivered but his body did not immediately follow. Rather, his shoulder was impacted behind the mother’s symphisis pubis (top of pubic bone). The plaintiff alleged that, after being confronted with this complication, the defendant obstetrician failed to utilize accepted obstetrical maneuvers in an effort to relieve the impaction before completing the delivery, and instead utilized excessive traction (or pulling) on the infant’s head in an effort to extricate the infant from the mother’s birth canal. Consequently, it was alleged that the C-5 and C-6 nerves controlling the infant’s brachial plexus were torn, resulting in a permanent right arm palsy.

The defendant obstetrician denied that this was a complicated delivery, and denied the existence of a Shoulder Dystocia or that excessive traction was needed to effectuate this delivery. The obstetrician did not deny the existence of the brachial plexus palsy injury, but argued that the injury must have occurred in utero. The defendant’s expert pediatric neurologist contended that the injury was a mild Erb’s Palsy resulting in no appreciable limitation. Plaintiff’s expert contended that the injury, which included a 1.5cm arm shortening, was a mild-to-moderate Erb’s Palsy with consequent limitations in range of motion.

The jury, made up of four women and two men, unanimously determined that the defendant, had departed from good and accepted medical practice during this delivery. Furthermore, the jury determined that it was the defendant’s negligent delivery that resulted in the injuries alleged. The jury awarded the infant-plaintiff, Kaquon Burch, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($650,000.00) in past pain and suffering and Six Million Dollars ($6,000,000.00) in future pain and suffering.

The trial took place in the Supreme Court State of New York County of Westchester before Hon. Nicholas Collabela. Index No.: 18388/04. Brandi Leonard as mother and natural guardian of Kaquon Burch v. Consuelo I. Rodriguez, M.D. and Soundshore Medical Center f/k/a New Rochelle Hospital.

The infant-plaintiff was represented by Jeffrey A. Guzman, a partner in the law firm Napoli, Bern, Krentsel & Guzman, LLP in Manhattan, New York.

About Napoli, Bern, Krentsel & Guzman

Napoli, Bern, Krentsel & Guzman, LLP is a law firm experienced in prosecuting personal injury actions on behalf of its clients. The firm’s litigation practice is focused on mass tort, medical malpractice, products liability, and negligence actions. Their office has been instrumental in the development of new law in the area of personal injury law and consumer rights. Napoli, Bern, Krentsel & Guzman has law offices in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Oklahoma. For more information visit http://www.nblawfirm.com or call 1-888-LAW-IN-NY.

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Paul Napoli
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