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Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P.

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where wrongs are made right


Office Location

4701 S 19th St #300,
Tacoma, WA 98405

Tacoma Birth Injury Attorneys Litigate Erb’s Palsy Cases

Experience legal team holds negligent healthcare providers accountable

One example of preventable harm to a child during delivery is brachial plexus palsy, also known as Erb’s palsy after the doctor who first described the condition. Erb’s palsy occurs when pressure on the baby’s shoulder causes bruising or tearing within the cluster of nerves called the brachial plexus. Damage can be short-lived or permanent, depriving the child of strength and mobility in the affected arm. Since 1959, attorneys at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. have fought for injured newborns to obtain adequate compensation for serious injuries. You can trust our legal team for our experience, knowledge and dedication to pursuing positive results in your case.

What are the symptoms of brachial plexus palsy in newborns?

Symptoms may appear immediately or soon after birth, and may include:

  • Immobility in the infant’s arm or hand
  • Lack of Moro reflex on the injured side
  • Arm remaining bent and tight against body
  • Discernibly weaker grip on the injured side

If simple bruising is the cause, these symptoms should clear up quickly. If nerves have been torn, the infant may require surgery to repair function. However, in many cases, even surgery involving nerve grafts will not improve the infant’s long-term prognosis.

When do parents have a legal cause of action for Erb’s palsy in a newborn?

Newborns are vulnerable to brachial plexus injury, so it’s important to establish when and how the injury occurred. The nerves of the brachial plexus can be injured during a difficult delivery, but that is not necessarily proof of healthcare provider negligence. However, advances in medical science have given doctors diagnostic tools and corrective procedures to address the leading causes of Erb’s palsy, including:

  • Breech delivery
  • Larger-than-average baby
  • Shoulder dystocia (difficulty delivering the shoulder after the head is out)

Doctors often employ cesarean delivery when they have concerns about a difficult delivery. The failure of a doctor to anticipate a difficult delivery or recommend a C-section when indicated may amount to malpractice, providing grounds for a birth injury lawsuit. Concerned attorneys at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your child’s prenatal care, delivery and post-delivery care to uncover evidence of negligence from any caregivers who may have impacted your child’s condition.

Trust our Tacoma birth injury lawyers for representation in Erb’s palsy cases

Modern medical science has given doctors the tools necessary to eliminate Erb’s palsy. If your child suffered brachial plexus harm during delivery, you might have grounds for legal action. Call Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. at 253.250.4516 or contact our firm online to schedule a free consultation.