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Medical Verdicts

Was force excessive?

December 2005 · Vol. 17, No. 12

<court>Cook County (III) Circuit Court</court>

At 36.5 weeks, a woman was admitted for labor induction. Delivery of the head was followed by shoulder dystocia. The infant was born with a severe left brachial plexus injury and left torticollis. Despite 4 reparative surgeries, the left arm and hand have little useful function.

In suing, the woman asserted the physician used inappropriate and excessive force to complete the delivery, a claim the defense denied.

  • The hospital settled for $400,000 before the case went to trial. The jury returned a defense verdict.

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 ( The available information about the cases presented here is sometimes incomplete; thus, pertinent details of a given situation may be unavailable. Moreover, the cases may or may not have merit. Nevertheless, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation and are meant to illustrate nationwide variation in jury verdicts and awards.

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