Toddler Awarded $3 Million in a Shoulder Dystocia Case Against University of Maryland Medical System with Help from Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian LLC

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A Maryland jury decided against hospital's theory that a mother's natural forces of labor caused a permanent injury in this shoulder dystocia case. The birthing malpractice left the now toddler with permanent brachial plexus injury to her posterior arm.

Gilman & Bedigian, LLC

The University of Maryland Medical System was ordered by the jury of the Baltimore City Circuit Court to pay $3 million for negligence during the delivery of a seven-pound baby with a shoulder dystocia of the anterior arm [shoulder dystocia occurs after the delivery of the baby’s head, when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone].

On September 5, 2014, after a two-week trial, the verdict for the case Uriah Evans, et. al. v. University of Maryland Medical Systems Corporation - 24C13004285 was rendered in the Plaintiff’s favor. H. Briggs Bedigian, a prominent medical malpractice attorney in the Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania area from the firm Gilman & Bedigian, LLC served as the Plaintiff’s attorney. After three days of deliberation, the jury’s verdict determined that two doctors from University of Maryland Medical Systems Corporation (“UMMS”), one an attending obstetrician and the other a resident, “acted negligently in treating Uriah Evans and Zyaira Smith during the delivery Zyaira Smith, and UMMS’ negligence caused the permanent injury of Zyaira Smith’s left arm.” The negligence resulted in the baby, who is now a toddler, having a permanent brachial plexus injury to her posterior arm. Ultimately, it was determined that excessive pulling during an anterior shoulder dystocia caused the injuries to the posterior arm. Medical experts on both sides agreed that the toddler has a permanent paralysis of her left arm.

The Plaintiff’s case provided three key pieces of evidence. One, an eyewitness from the delivery room who saw a doctor pulling hard on the baby’s head during the delivery. Two, expert testimony from a pediatric neurologist and obstetricians who all testified that the only clinically proven cause of permanent biracial plexus injuries in shoulder dystocia cases are, a doctor applying excessive traction (i.e. pulling too hard). And three, the injury occurred as a result of the baby’s nerve root being torn from the baby’s spinal cord, which the Hospital did not dispute.

The Hospital argued that it was the “natural forces of labor” (i.e. a mother’s contractions) that caused the injury. The Hospital hired a biomechanical engineer who has done computer modeling attempting to simulate natural forces of labor to put forth this theory. However, the jury was not persuaded, as the computer modeling cannot be applied to a real life-birthing situation. The jury found the theory to be flawed because, one, neither doctor could remember who had their hands on the baby’s head during the delivery; and two, the Hospital’s experts could not provide the jury with any clinical proof of their “natural forces of labor” theory.

The legal team at Gilman & Bedigian, LLC has an excellent reputation as dedicated and successful trial attorneys, helping malpractice and personal injury victims recover losses sustained from their injuries. H. Briggs Bedigian is a partner with Gilman & Bedigian, LLC. Prior to co-founding the firm, he was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC where he was the head of the litigation practice. Briggs’ practice remains focused on representing clients involved in complex medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia area. Briggs has tirelessly fought for the rights of the most seriously injured people, primarily representing clients in the Mid-Atlantic region of Maryland, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. He has also tried cases in courtrooms across the country.

For questions and/or additional information, please contact Charles A. Gilman, Esquire at cgilman@gblegalteam.com

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