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Medical Verdicts

Covering physician encounters dystocia

February 2005 · Vol. 17, No. 2
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<court>Essex County (NJ) Superior Court</court>

An Ob/Gyn, filling in for a vacationing obstetrician, induced labor in a woman at 36 weeks’ gestation with gestational diabetes and ruptured membranes.

Despite signs of fetal distress, the defendant opted for a forceps delivery. The child suffered Erb’s palsy, which required 3 surgeries by the time of trial.

In suing, the plaintiff argued that the defendant did not review the woman’s medical records. Had he done so, he would have learned that a prior sonogram showed a disproportionally large torso (stemming from the mother’s gestational diabetes), which would have alerted him that a cesarean delivery might be necessary.

  • The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $2.3 million.

The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn ( While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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