New York’s Best Birth Injury Attorneys
Helping families prosecute serious cases of birth injury malpractice in New York.
Merson Law is the best birth injury law firm in New York City.
Founder Jordan Merson of Merson Law has built a stellar reputation representing birth injury law clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries. The birth injury law team at Merson Law has extensive experience litigating birth injury medical malpractice cases valued in excess of $1 million and much of their background includes prosecuting cases that have resolved for more than $10 million.
Here are some of the birth injury law cases litigated by Jordan Merson of Merson Law*:
- $17 million for failure to timely perform c-section on baby
- $14.8 million for baby brain damaged when c-section was delayed
- $14.4 million for Queens family whose child suffered brain damage
- $11.3 million jury verdict for brain damage child
- $11 million for Brooklyn woman who had untreated post-delivery bleeding
- $5.5 million for Erb’s Palsy
*Please note that past results do not guarantee similar outcome
Mr. Merson was honored to be included in New York Law Journal’s first ever “Hall of Fame” for medical malpractice verdicts and settlements.
When New York Magazine published its top verdicts in 2014, Mr. Merson was included on that list, as well.
In fact, Mr. Merson has had the largest single-plaintiff medical malpractice verdict in Westchester County for at least a five year period and he had the largest verdict in Westchester County for any type of case in 2014 — an $11.3 million verdict after the defendant that proceeded to trial refused to offer any money to settle the case.
Mr. Merson was also named in Super Lawyers and he has been quoted by the national and local media, including USA Today, the New York Law Journal and the Daily News.
Birth Injury Law: A Brief Explanation
What is a birth injury? Birth injury refers to any damage or injury to the child before, during, or just after the birthing process.
What is Birth Trauma? “Birth trauma” refers specifically to mechanical damage sustained during delivery (such as nerve damage and broken bones).
The term “birth injury” may be used in two different ways:
- The ICD-10 uses “birth injury” and “birth trauma” interchangeably to refer to mechanical injuries sustained during delivery;
- The legal community uses “birth injury” to refer to any damage or injury sustained during pregnancy, during delivery, or just after delivery, including injuries caused by trauma.
Birth injuries must be distinguished from birth defects.
“Birth defect” refers to damage that occurs while the fetus is in the womb, which may be caused by genetic mutations, infections, or exposure to toxins. There are more than 4,000 types of birth defects.
There are a number of birth injury types. Sometimes birth injuries are temporary, and other times they are permanent, lasting a lifetime. Symptoms often vary from one infant to another. Whereas one infant may have mild symptoms, the same injury may happen to a different infant and cause severe symptoms.
Sometimes children aren’t aware of their birth injury until they’re enrolled in school. Other times the symptoms for certain birth injuries are obvious immediately. The severity of symptoms and signs will greatly depend upon each child’s individual circumstances as well as the type of birth injury.
Brain-related birth injuries can manifest in several different ways. Often, brain injuries develop from oxygen deprivation, such as anoxia, hypoxia, birth asphyxia, and perinatal asphyxia. Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a birth injury that occurs as a consequence of severe oxygen deprivation.
When a brain has been deprived of oxygen, it can react in various ways. For example, brain ischemia occurs when oxygen is deprived and the brain reacts by draining the blood from the brain. A brain hemorrhage occurs when a brain reacts to excessive blood flowing into the brain. More electrical responses are what happens when the brain reacts to oxygen deprivation causing general brain damage from seizures, or causing more severe electrical disorders with cerebral palsy. Additionally, brain-related injuries can happen from other birth injuries such as the growth of newborn jaundice into kernicterus, flooding the brain with bilirubin, and the development of the group B strep infection to meningitis which interferes with electrical communications between the spine and the brain.
The leading brain-related injury in relation to birth trauma is cerebral palsy (CP), affecting around 800,000 children. CP can develop after maternal infections, oxygen deprivation, infant stroke, and infant infection. In many instances, CP could have been eliminated with the corrective preventative measures by physician. For example, if a physician fails to monitor fetal distress and take the appropriate actions, the infant may develop CP. Other instances include:
- Failure to monitor, detect, and treat maternal infections
- Failure to plan and carry out an emergency C-section
- Failure to identify and treat a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Failure to use birth-assisting tools correctly
Muscle-Related or Physical Injuries
Cerebral palsy is often misinterpreted as a muscle-related birth injury because in some cases, the infant has total loss of muscle control. However, cerebral palsy is a brain-related birth injury that affects the way the brain sends communication to the muscle groups.
Muscle-related injuries, however, are generally easy to diagnose as a clinical evaluation can pinpoint where the limited movement or paralysis is coming from. Some muscle-related injuries may be related to more blatant medical malpractice such as lacerations, bruises, or broken bones. This can also cause other physical birth injuries such as skull fractures or cephalohematoma, the bruising of the area between the brain and the outer layers of skin.
Common Muscle-Related & Physical Injuries
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves between the shoulder and neck. These nerves control muscle function in the chest, shoulder, arms, and hands, as well as feeling in the upper limbs. In rare instances, injury to the brachial plexus can occur during childbirth. Symptoms include weakness in the affected arm and the inability to use certain muscles in the affected arm. The shoulder and hands may also be affected. Electrical-type shocks and a burning sensation down the affected arm is also common.
Erb’s palsy is a form of brachial plexus marked by the nerves of the upper arm being affected, usually after a birth injury. Infants with Erb’s palsy may experience the loss of feeling and weakness in the affected. In severe cases, infants may have total paralysis in the affected arm.
Klumpke’s palsy, another form of brachial plexus, is caused by damage to the lower nerves in the arm, affecting the arm, wrists, and fingers. Typically, an infant with Klumpke’s palsy with have total paralysis in the affected area, and the hand usually takes on a permanent, claw-like shape.
Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that occurs when an infant’s head and shoulders get trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. Although shoulder dystocia only happens in 1% of all pregnancies, the complications that arise with this type of injury can be severe. Along with the risk of maternal hemorrhaging and uterine rupture, the baby may experience difficulties when breathing, a collarbone fracture, cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus fracture, and in some instances, death.
Birth Injuries Related to Infections or Developed Through Pregnancy
Sometimes the responsibility of who passes on the birth injury is fuzzy. In some instances, a birth injury is passed on from the mother, though a physician’s job is to detect and treat any maternal problems. A couple of these injuries are attributed to infections, such as the group B strep infection or meningitis, both infections that the mother can carry in the vagina without even knowing it (about 1 in every 4 mothers carry these infections without any symptoms or knowledge of these infections). Children can catch this from their mothers just by being born, by passing through the birth canal where these infections are stored.
Other birth injuries caught from the mother are injuries developed through pregnancy that the physician should have tested for or found early. These injuries include folic acid deficiency, anemia, and spina bifida. These birth injuries could have possibly been prevented by the mother taking supplements based on the physicians recommendations.
Additional, a birth injury that could happen at the end of pregnancy just before delivery is meconium aspiration syndrome, which occurs when the infant is under stress from a long and difficult delivery. The infant defecates in the uterus and then breathes in the meconium, causing severe breathing problems after birth.
Injuries from Delivery
Birth injuries that arise during delivery is a common occurrence. These types of injuries occur from the use of vacuum extractor or forceps, tools invented to assist in delivery. Other injuries from delivery may include administering the wrong medication, or mishandling the infant, resulting in broken bones, lacerations, or skull fractures. Depending on how the physician handles the delivery, an infant may also experience injuries related to stress, high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
PPHN occurs when the pulmonary article responsible for delivering oxygen to a newborn shuts down. In turn, the infant has a difficult time breathing, which can lead to rapid heartbeats, cyanosis, heart murmurs, and more. PPHN is often the result of a difficult birth, yet in many instances it arises due to medical negligence. For example, prescription-based medications have been linked to an increase in blood pressure, and during pregnancy this can place stress on the infant. Other causes include failure to treat maternal infections, failure to detect and prevent infant asphyxia, and performing an unnecessary C-section.
What To Do If Your Baby Suffered a Birth Injury
Birth Injury Law: We must show that the physician acted negligently in rendering your care, and that such negligence resulted in birth injury.
To do so, four legal elements must be proven:
- A professional duty owed to the patient
- Breach of such duty
- Birth injury caused by the breach
- Resulting damages: money damages, if awarded, typically take into account both actual economic loss and non-economic loss, such as pain and suffering.
We provide a 100% free birth injury law initial case evaluation that is done by a medical team, including a fully licensed doctor.
Have your birth injury law medical malpractice case reviewed by our doctor, free of charge, today.
The team at Merson Law will litigate your birth injury law case aggressively and comprehensively to achieve complete vindication for the harm that you have suffered.
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