Birth Injury

It is one of life’s most beautiful moments: a baby’s birth. But it can be heartbreaking when you realize that improper medical care has resulted in a birth injury that will forever change your child’s life.

An experienced Philadelphia birth injury lawyer knows there are many factors that can contribute to complications during childbirth and resulting birth injury: the mother’s health, the position of the baby, and the timing of the delivery (if the baby is late or premature). Also, certain methods and instruments used by the medical team during delivery can contribute to those complications. But no matter the reason, when something goes wrong, the results are often devastating. This can include any of a number of birth injuries such as Erb’s Palsy and cerebral palsy.

Erb’s palsy and cerebral palsy are not congenital. These conditions frequently occur from mistakes.

While each child can be affected very differently in terms of type and severity of the symptoms (loss of muscle control, impaired speech, seizures, paralysis, or even blindness), one thing that is often very common in each child’s case is that the injuries were preventable. Special birthing maneuvers, the ability to detect warning signs in prenatal tests, and knowing when a baby is in distress is the responsibility of the doctor.

There is hope because in some cases, you can obtain compensation for these birth injuries even if the child is in his or her teens. And, in doing so, you can provide your child with the absolute best possible care and comfort for life, including therapy, surgery, medications, home care and equipment.

If you have been the victim of a birth injury and are considering taking legal action, you need the right information to make an informed decision. We have found that often our clients have questions such as:

At The Duffy Firm, we have a great deal of experience in handling these cases. With that experience comes a multitude of benefits for you:

  • A panel of physicians, nurses and other healthcare experts who know how to interpret medical documentation and help us build a strong case for you
  • An active network of birth injury resource professionals that we have developed over the years that can provide advice and support in the areas of special needs, education, medical benefits, and so much more
  • A special level of trust, care and compassion in understanding what you and your child are facing. We have a special bond with each and every one of our past clients, and those relationships remain strong long after the case has been won.
  • The confidence in knowing that if we represent you, it is because we believe we can win. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means if we are not successful, we receive no payment at all. When you win, we win.

Here are some recoveries we have obtained for clients: 

  • The Duffy Firm obtained a $20,500,000 settlement from a major Philadelphia hospital and its doctors based on our proof that the doctors failed to appreciate distress on a fetal monitoring strip. The doctors delayed performing a cesarean section. That delay resulted in anoxic injury to the child and severe cerebral palsy.
  • The Duffy Firm obtained a $13,500,000 confidential settlement from a major Philadelphia hospital and its doctors based on our proof that an attending maternal fetal medicine physician and residents who were asked to monitor a mother's labor failed to see that an increase in her glucose level was caused by a failure to properly administer insulin. The doctors delayed initiating delivery for the child, resulting in an anoxic injury, causing severe cerebral palsy.
  • A confidential settlement of $5,000,000 was obtained for a child who suffered severe cerebral palsy due to head trauma that was sustained when the doctors improperly used instruments during delivery.
  • A confidential settlement of $4,500,000 was obtained from a teaching hospital and attending physician who failed to recognize that an expectant mother had had a recent outbreak of herpes. The doctor permitted the mother to deliver the child vaginally, exposing the child to the herpes virus, which caused severe cerebral palsy. The child was 15 when the mother first approached The Duffy Firm, after another attorney had reviewed the case and turned it down.
  • A confidential settlement of $3,800,000 was attained for a boy who, 28 hours after birth, developed necrotizing endocolitis (NEC). Failure to properly diagnose the NEC resulted in a decrease in oxygen saturation that ultimately caused an anoxic injury and cerebral palsy to the boy.
  • A confidential settlement of $2,250,000 was reached for a baby with cerebral palsy who was delivered by a midwife and nurses who failed to recognize the significance of deceleration and drop in the baseline on the fetal monitor.
  • The Duffy Firm won a $1,500,000 settlement for a boy with Erb's Palsy caused by an attending doctor's negligent delivery after a shoulder dystocia was encountered. The doctor failed to perform the necessary maneuvers to avoid an injury.
  • In Wright, a child was left with permanent scarring and discoloration of skin due to the way forceps were applied at birth at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The defense argued that the feature was simply a birthmark that showed up months after she was born. To protect the child’s well-being, the case was largely presented through photographs. The Duffy Firm obtained a $350,000 verdict on behalf of the child.

See more examples of successful verdicts and settlements obtained by The Duffy Firm >>