Cleveland Area Birth Trauma Lawyers

Few things in life are more devastating than the death or injury of an infant during childbirth. And many of these injuries are preventable. At Pomerantz & Crosby, we have successfully handled many birth trauma cases, in which a baby suffers brain injury or other harm during labor and delivery. Attorney David Pomerantz is well-known in the area for his work litigating birth trauma cases and lecturing and writing on the subject.

For over 30 years, Pomerantz & Crosby has helped families afford the enormous lifetime costs necessary to care for a child harmed during labor and delivery.

Usually, brain injury occurs due to a deprivation of adequate oxygen to the brain of the fetus, known as fetal distress, resulting in a condition called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Fetal heart monitors are normally connected to the mother and child during labor to monitor the baby's heart rate, particularly in relation to the mother's contractions. Tachycardia, an abnormally high heart rate, or bradycardia, a low heart rate, are causes for concern. Normally, the fetus' heart rate will increase during the mothers' contractions; such increases are called accelerations, which are a reassuring sign of the health of the fetus. Variable or late decelerations are ominous signs, suggesting umbilical cord compression or a problem with the placenta, respectively. Such fetal monitor strip patterns demand intervention, including at times, rescue of the fetus by caesarian section (c-section). Failure of the OB/GYN and her obstetrical team to recognize and address these problems may constitute malpractice.

If the fetus is deprived of oxygen to the brain for sufficient time (sometimes called asphyxiation), brain damage, cerebral palsy and mental retardation may result. If the baby cannot breathe on his own at birth, a pediatric neurologist should be standing by to perform resuscitation of the newborn.

In a related area, an OB/GYN may improperly deliver a baby causing harm. Shoulder dystocia, in which the shoulder of the baby becomes entrapped in the birth canal, is a serious problem which can cause permanent neurological injury to the brachial plexus.

Our firm is experienced in handling birth trauma cases involving:

  • Fetal Distress
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Mental Retardation
  • Failure to Perform C-Section
  • Umbilical Cord Compression
  • Placental Disruption
  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
  • Inadequate Pre-Natal Care
  • Improper Fetal Monitoring
  • Asphyxia
  • Shoulder Dystocia or Erb's Palsy
  • Failure to Resuscitate
  • APGAR Scores
  • Bradycardia or Tachycardia
  • Acidosis
  • Multi-Organ Failure
  • Seizures

Because of the catastrophic nature of birth trauma injuries, medical malpractice insurance companies routinely have a team of lawyers and doctors to fight these claims. Among common defenses raised to combat these claims are that the problems were caused by a genetic defect, occurred earlier during pregnancy (and thus out of the control of the OB/GYN), or are not consistent with birth trauma based on APGAR scores, cord ph gases (acidosis), and/or the timing of the onset of neurological problems, such as seizures or hypotonia in the newborn. Sometimes the defense raises an "empty chair" defense, that malpractice occurred, but the plaintiff failed to sue the party who committed the malpractice. Oftentimes, personnel at the hospital are not employees, but independent contractors who must be sued separately.

If your child demonstrated serious health problems at or shortly after birth, contact us today to discuss at length your situation. Our staff will provide your family and your case with the attention it deserves. We will fully explore the cause of your child's problems and if a case lies, will seek the compensation you need to care for your child's special challenges.