Unanimous $2.75 Million Verdict For Birth Injury In Dayton, Ohio

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Partner Pamela E. Pantages and attorney Jeffrey M. Heller obtained a $2.75 million verdict for a plaintiff who suffered a brachial plexus injury at birth. The verdict is one of the highest in Montgomery County's history.

Attorney Pamela E. Pantages

On January 31, 2018, a jury in Montgomery County, Ohio, returned a verdict of $2,750,000 in favor of Matthew Harrison and against obstetrician Dr. Andre Harris, MD, of Dayton, Ohio, and his company Horizon Women's Healthcare, LLC. (Montgomery County Common Pleas Case No. 2016-CV-06114)

According to court documents, he was born with a permanent brachial plexus injury, or essentially, a near-paralyzed right arm. He had Apgar scores of 1, 3 and 6. His right arm was flail and a skull x-ray revealed head swelling, cephalohematoma and shifting of the skull bones.

At trial, the obstetric experts all agreed that Matthew needed to be delivered by either vacuum extraction or cesarean. The delivering physician, Defendant Andre Harris, M.D., chose the vacuum without counseling Matthew's mother, Maurita Henry.

"This is where the malpractice began," said Pantages. "All the testifying obstetricians, including Dr. Harris himself, agreed that obstetricians are taught in their training the 3-pop off/20 minute safety rule. If the vacuum pops-off the baby's head three times in 20 minutes, the delivering obstetrician is required to abandon the vacuum and deliver by cesarean," she said.

In the jury's verdict, they filled out an interrogatory, or answer to a question, where they indicated Dr. Harris's violation of the 3-pop off safety rule caused a shoulder dystocia and exposed Matthew to an unnecessary risk of injury.

After nearly 4 hours of deliberation, the jury compensated Matthew $1.5 million for his past medical bills, cost of future care and reduced future earning capacity, $750,000 for his pain and suffering and $500,000 to his mother for her loss of consortium claim. There was no settlement offer before trial.

Pamela E. Pantages is a partner at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and has more than 27 years of experience as a trial attorney. She has been recognized by her peers as an Ohio Super Lawyer from 2009-2011 and 2013-2017. She is rated AV® Preeminentâ„¢, Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating, and Avvo rated 10/10 (Superb). Pamela is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which recognizes lawyers with settlements and verdicts whose individual amounts exceed $1,000,000.00.

Co-counsel Jeffrey M. Heller is an attorney in the litigation group at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy. He has built a career through working on behalf of victims - first as an assistant county prosecutor and now as a personal injury attorney. He firmly believes trials are necessary to enforce the rights of individual citizens who are routinely treated unfairly by billion-dollar insurance companies.

Headquartered in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, the Nurenberg Paris law firm has been serving Cleveland and its surrounding cities since 1928. The firm focuses on personal injury litigation that encompasses motor vehicle accidents, workers compensation, medical malpractice, and trucking accidents. They have recovered over $1 billion for their injured clients in just the last 26 years and have invested much of their recoveries back in the Cleveland community by partnering with a different local non-profit each month. In addition to the donations, the firm also participates in dozens of races and charitable events that local non-profits host throughout the year. Their mission is to protect and champion the rights of injured victims with integrity and compassion.

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Erik Ovesny
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