Negligent delivery results in brachial plexus paralysis for infant in Sacramento Birth Injury Case

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a birth injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this birth injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)


According to Plaintiff: On July 23, 2004, plaintiff Andy Wallas was admitted to ABC Medical Center for delivery. Her obstetrician was defendant Donald Gray, M.D. Her pre-natal course was uneventful. During labor, the fetal heart monitor recorded that the fetal heart rate (“FHR”) dropped to the 40s for four minutes (bradycardia). Defendant elected to utilize a vacuum extractor to hasten delivery of the baby for what he perceived was an emergency.

Plaintiffs Andy Wallas, Benjamin Wallas, and minor, through his Guardian ad Litem, Andy Wallas, alleged that the FHR returned to baseline (normal) within the next contraction, so there was no emergency, but they were not critical of defendant’s decision to use the vacuum. Upon delivery of the fetal head, a shoulder dystocia was encountered (baby’s shoulder trapped under mother’s pubic bone).

Defendant claimed the baby was delivered with a McRoberts maneuver and Suprapubic pressure. The baby’s left upper extremity (arm, shoulder, hand) was noted to be flaccid at delivery. The baby was later diagnosed as having suffered a permanent left brachial plexus paralysis.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiffs alleged defendant negligently failed to perform the appropriate maneuvers required by the standard of care to safely deliver the shoulder dystocia, which caused the injury.

Defendant contended that he complied with the standard of care in all aspects of the delivery.


According to Plaintiff: Minor: permanent left brachial plexus paralysis; tendon transfer surgery at 6 months of age; potential future surgeries; rehabilitation. Andy and Benjamin Wallas: emotional distress.


According to Plaintiff: Minor: past and future pain and suffering; future medical and rehabilitation care; future loss of earnings. Andy Wallas: emotional distress; past costs of counseling. Benjamin Wallas: emotional distress; past costs of counseling.

Verdict/Judgment: Plaintiff
Verdict/Judgment Amount: $932,250
$932,250 present value ($3,813,982 future value).
Trial Type: Jury
Deliberations: 4 hours.

Jury Poll: 12-0.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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