Erb’s Palsy



Erb-Duchenne palsy (Erb’s palsy) is a movement disorder characterized by partial or total paralysis of the arm often thought to be a result of a birth injury called shoulder dystocia that occurs during the delivery process when, after the head emerges, the shoulder becomes stuck.




Erb’s palsy is often connected to a birth injury known as shoulder dystocia when there is damage to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves running from the shoulder, and through the arm to the hand. Shoulder dystocia occurs when, during the delivery process, the baby’s head has emerged, but the shoulders become stuck. In instances of negligence, a doctor may use excessive force or fail to use the proper medical maneuvers to remove the baby, causing damage to the brachial plexus and subsequently causing Erb’s palsy.


Although not all Erb’s palsy cases are a direct result of medical malpractice, there are instances in which it could be considered as such.

These include:

  • Failure to suggest cesarean delivery
  • Excessive force used during the delivery process
  • Failure to properly execute medical maneuvers


Erb’s palsy is a disorder that can drastically affect the remainder of a child’s life. While there are steps that doctors can take to repair the damage, sometimes the child is left with irreversible effects.

These lasting effects include:

  • Delayed healing in the affected arm
  • Paralysis of the arm
  • Delayed growth
FAQs About Your

Medical Malpractice Case

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
Medical Malpractice is a form of professional negligence that can be committed by any medical professional who is involved in giving care to a patient. To prove medical malpractice, a claimant must show that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the professional violated the standard of care, and an injury resulted from that violation.    
What is “informed consent” and how does this relate to malpractice?
In Rhode Island, informed consent refers to the conversation a medical professional has with their patient when they explain the proposed course of treatment and its risks. The physician must also offer information for alternative treatments and/or the option of not treating a specific illness. Rhode Island requires a five-part test to decide if there is validity in a medical malpractice case surrounding a lack of informed consent. This test includes: the physician’s explanation of risk was inadequate, the risk was known and withheld by the physician, the risk was a valid concern, and the injury in question was caused by this undisclosed risk.
How can a jury determine if a physician’s actions were negligent?
All medical professionals are expected to abide by a standard of care. A judge is responsible for questions of law. A juror is a trier of fact. While a jury listens to an entire trial, their job is to take the law as described to them by the judge and apply all of the facts and information that were relayed to them through testimony throughout the trial. A jury is then responsible for rendering a verdict based on the law given to them during jury instructions by the judge and their opinion a to whether or not the case presented by the plaintiff meets or exceeds the standard of law as defined by the judge of negligence by the medical professional.
What are examples of medical malpractice?
A licensed medical professional's actions that fall below the standard of care include failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis, failure to order proper testing, failure to recognize symptoms, misreading/ignoring laboratory results, surgical errors or wrong-site surgery, improper medication/dosages, unnecessary surgery, poor follow-up or aftercare, premature discharge, or disregarding or not taking an appropriate patient history.  
How much time do I have to start my case?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Rhode Island is up to three years after the discovery of their medical condition. In Massachusetts, patients are given up to three years from the discovery date if they would not have reasonably known of the malpractice. In Connecticut, patients are given up to two years to file their case.
Do I have any medical rights?
You have the right to:
  • Access information regarding your case that is accurate, easy to understand, and in your language.
  • Access any assistance you may need to understand your medical information.
  • Be involved in decisions regarding your medical treatment.
  • Receive respectful care from any medical professional.
  • Confidentiality regarding your medical care and treatments.
  • Read and copy your medical records to ensure accuracy.
  • File a complaint against any medical staff who treats you.

Different Types of Medical Malpractice - malpractice law firm Medical Malpractice It is the responsibility of medical professionals to care for the patients. However, medical malpractice occurs frequently. Take advantage of this free book to learn more about medical malpractice and legality of the subject. Free Ebook

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