Birth Injury Due to Shoulder Dystocia

Dedicated Birth Injury Attorneys Serving Chicago and Surrounding Areas

Having a baby is one of the most exciting moments in many people’s lives. The one thing that most families want to be sure of is everything goes as planned, and there are no unexpected complications that could negatively affect the baby’s health.

And yet, complications do happen, every day, in thousands of deliveries every year; specifically, shoulder dystocia occurs in many of these deliveries, and can cause serious birth injuries if not properly addressed. If it does happen to you during the birth process, you may need to seek legal advice, particularly if you or your baby are now dealing with a lifetime of medical costs as a result of the incident.

The Chicago birth injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti have successfully handled a number of cases involving shoulder dystocia. Through this experience, we understand the risk factors associated with the condition, along with the standard of care that physicians should employ when a dystocia occurs. For example, our attorneys achieved a $2.9 million birth injury settlement for a child who suffered a brachial plexus injury when a physician failed to perform the proper disimpaction (separation of impaction in fractured bone) and placed excessive force on the infant's head and shoulder. Contact us today if you have any questions so that we can explain your options for the lifelong care of your family after a birth injury occurred.

What is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia occurs when an infant's shoulder becomes caught on its mother's pubic bone during delivery, ultimately damaging the baby’s nerves. If this happens, in order to dislodge the baby's shoulder, medical staff must be prepared to perform certain maneuvers or interventions to free the newborn in a safe and timely manner. In doing so, it is possible to prevent complications that could result in lifelong injuries. Specifically, if the baby suffers from shoulder dystocia, it can result in a number of different injuries in newborns, including:

  • Erb’s Palsy: Weakness in the arm and/or permanent loss of function due to damage to the brachial plexus (see Brachial Plexus Injuries)
  • A lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery, resulting in brain injury (see Birth Hypoxia)
  • Fractures to the baby's clavicle bone (collar bone) or humerus (the long bone in the upper arm)
  • Fetal Death

Shoulder dystocia can be anticipated, and in many cases is prevented, if a mother's risk factors are addressed early. Some risk factors for shoulder dystocia include gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain or obesity during pregnancy, a large (macrosomic) baby, or a mother with a history of having large babies.

Birth Injury Lawyers

If your child suffered a shoulder dystocia from medical negligence that resulted in a serious birth injury or death, we may be able to help you seek justice and compensation. We have a strong history of successful cases, including those addressing a variety of birth injuries. Please contact the Illinois personal injury lawyers of Levin & Perconti at 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417 for a free consultation, or fill out our Contact Us form and an attorney will call you back shortly.

Margaret, Daisy and Bryan. This magnificent cohesive team led by Margaret represented us for my mom's nursing home wrongful death case. They were most patient and responded timely to many questions throughout the entire process. All demonstrated professionalism and extensive knowledge of case and state laws. Their in-depth investigative work uncovered details which were unknown to us and yet sadly confirmed our suspicions. We would recommend the Levin and Perconti Law firm and especially this team. Kathy and Ron
Mr. Levin, Mr. Perconti and the firm handled a medical malpractice suit for my family. During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Peconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. My family and I will always be grateful for the compassion that they showed us. I want to thank you for what you did for my family, and for always being there for us. W.R., Medical Malpractice Client
Our deepest appreciation to the law firm of Levin & Perconti, and in particular to Margaret Battersby Black, in the handling of the lawsuit we field n behalf of our sister who sustained life-threatening injuries as a nursing home resident. Margaret’s representation, guidance, and professionalism gave us the sense that we could put our trust in Levin & Perconti and the final outcome proved that to be true. D.G., Nursing Home Client
I want to send my heartfelt thanks to John Perconti and the Levin & Perconti staff in taking our case. Not only were they so professional but also so caring and thoughtful. It was very difficult going over the facts in our mother's case but they were so compassionate and understanding and allowed us to be with them every step of the way. We were able to sit in on the depositions and we were really able to see how hard they worked on our behalf. M.R.Z., nursing home client
Mr. Levin, Mr. Perconti, and the firm handled a medical malpractice suit for my family. During that time, my family and I suffered the loss of my mother. Mr. Levin and Mr. Perconti were more than just our lawyers. Words can’t really express our gratitude. W.R., medical malpractice client