July, 2022 – An Ocean County suit was settled by Amos Gern and Ana Rita Ferreira, just before trial, for $350,000 for the child and $150,000 for the mother, Toms River residents. During the delivery, the Ob-Gyn determined that the mother was “exhausted” from 45 minutes of labor, and that forceps assistance was needed to deliver the infant. He then appropriately applied the forceps and delivered the infant’s head, which quickly retracted (classic “turtle” response). At that point he encountered a right shoulder dystocia when the fetus’ right shoulder became impacted behind the mother’s pelvis. He applied maneuvers, including excessive traction, in an effort to relieve the shoulder dystocia and delivered the infant. The parents knew immediately that something was wrong upon delivery, as the mother recalled not hearing her baby cry, noted his gray coloring, and saw his right arm dangling and motionless. Plaintiffs asserted, through their medical expert, that the delivering Ob/Gyn used excessive traction to relieve the shoulder dystocia, which caused the baby’s brachial plexus injury. Credible lay and nursing eyewitness testimony supported the conclusion that medically mandated maneuvers with the use of suprapubic pressure were never employed. The child has undergone nearly continuous therapy since he was approximately 2 months old, including occupational and physical therapy, to strengthen his right shoulder, arm, and hand. He remains limited with residual deficits, i.e., forearm supination, decreased core strength, and decreased strength with active range of motion. He has difficulty with bilateral integration (activities that require both hands to move or work together), and shows a significant delay in his gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and self-help skills. It was uncontested that he requires future treatment, including continuing therapy and orthopedic care. The mother was diagnosed by a neuro-psychologist with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder, causally related to her son’s birth trauma. She has sought individual psychotherapy for several years since this traumatic birth.
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