A boy from Grand Falls in Michigan has been awarded $9.43 million birth injury compensation for damaged nerves after a jury hearing in Kent County.
Digby Maring (now 4½ years of age) was born weighing 9 lbs in October 2009. His mother´s pregnancy had been without complications until Digby developed shoulder dystocia during the later stages of his delivery. The physician in charge of the delivery – Stacyann Steen M.D. – ordered the family attending the birth out of the delivery room while she tried to free Digby´s shoulder but, due to using excessive force, Digby was born with damaged nerves in his shoulder and now only has 10% use of his arm.
Dr. Steen´s responses when questioned about Digby´s arm was that it would be better by the next day; but, whereas many less-traumatic nerve damage injuries can heal within several days or weeks, Digby´s condition failed to improve. In December 2009, Digby was diagnosed with avulsion nerve root injuries caused by excessive force. It transpired that during Digby´s delivery three nerve roots had been ripped from his spine – causing permanent nerve damage.
Through his mother – Emily – Digby claimed birth injury compensation for damaged nerves against Dr. Steen and her employers – Advantage Health Physicians PC. Medical experts supporting the claim said that Digby´s nerve damage had been caused by Dr Steen “torquing” the infant´s head to free the trapped shoulder. Dr. Steen denied the allegations that she had failed to implement the necessary standard of care and used excessive force during Digby´s delivery.
With no resolution reached through negotiation or mediation, the claim for birth injury compensation for damaged nerves went to the Kent County Circuit Court where it was heard before Judge Mark A. Trusock. At the hearing, lawyers representing Digby claimed that his damaged nerves would be a hindrance to his earning capacity later in life and that he would need specialized care and attention while he was growing up and during adulthood.
After a four-day hearing, the Kent County jury voted 6-1 in favor of Digby´s claim, and awarded him $9.43 million birth injury compensation for damaged nerves to account for his past and future pain and suffering, and for his future loss of earnings.