March 8, 2007Illinois couple files Erb’s palsy lawsuit

An Erb’s palsy lawsuit has been filed in Illinois by the mother and father of a girl born with a brachial plexus injury. Christy and Dennis Hartmann contend that Dr. Diana Peterson, who performed the delivery, was negligent in that she failed to use proper delivery methods for their daughter, Chrisden. Thus the girl, who is now three years old, suffered a brachial plexus injury.

Her parents’ Erb’s palsy lawsuit alleges that Dr. Peterson exerted too much pressure when the baby’s shoulders got lodged in the womb. This predicament is known as dystocia. They say that Chrisden suffered a brachial plexus injury during the delivery; such an injury occurs when the nerves running to the arm are stretched too far. This, the Hartmanns allege, is why their daughter suffers from Erb’s palsy. Chrisden has limited motion in one arm.

In their Erb’s palsy lawsuit, the Hartmanns claim that their daughter’s condition has been the source of pain and suffering, leaving her with disabilities likely to impair her ability to enjoy a normal life. Their Erb’s palsy lawyer says the couple seeks $100,000 in damages plus costs from Dr. Peterson.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 infants will suffer from Erb’s palsy as a result of a brachial plexus injury. Some of these children may regain movement or sensation in their injured arm without surgical intervention, but for others an Erb’s palsy injury means years of pain and exorbitant medical expenses.

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