March 19, 2005Jury in NY awards $1.3M in Erb’s palsy case

A jury in Staten Island, New York has awarded $1.3 million to the parents of a 6-year-old girl who now suffers from a birth defect. The child has Erb’s palsy; her left arm and hand suffered irreversible nerve damage during the delivery.

The trial concluded when the jury awarded $200,000 for past pain and suffering, and $1.1 million for future use and medical expenses. These funds will allow Carmine and Stacey Losurdo to provide medical and therapeutic care for their daughter.

Court documents showed that Dr. Francis X. Martingano incorrectly performed a vacuum extraction delivery. He placed a vacuum extractor device on the baby’s head to remove it from the womb, but the process went awry, resulting in Erb’s palsy.

“There is such promise with a birth, and to have it taken away from you is a hardship,” says the Losurdos’ birth injury lawyer. “We have always maintained that this could have been avoided, if there was reasonable and customary care.”

Erb’s palsy, which is caused by damage to the brachial plexus (the network of nerves that connect the fingers, hands and arms to the spine), can come from disease but more often it comes from childbirth injuries. And when it happens, it can bring on medical malpractice suits like that of the Losurdos.’

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