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William V. Johnson Obtains Verdict in Favor of Chicago Medical Center, Obstetrician in Birth Injury Case

August 21, 2012

William V. Johnson of Johnson & Bell, Ltd. obtained a verdict in favor of a major Chicago medical center and its obstetrician following a week-long jury trial.  Plaintiff sought damages in excess of $4 million. The birth injury lawsuit arose out of allegations that a 1996 birth at the medical center was handled inappropriately, leaving the child, now age 14, with a brachial plexus injury in the left shoulder and arm. The plaintiff argued that the obstetrician and a resident in training were negligent with respect to maneuvers utilized to relieve a shoulder dystocia that occurred during the child's birth.  As a result of the inappropriate traction on the baby's head during delivery, plaintiff alleged certain nerves near the baby's spine were stretched or partially torn, resulting in the birth injury. Defense argued that the physicians utilized the appropriate maneuvers to alleviate the shoulder dystocia, and the jury was shown a videotape created by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists which matched the maneuvers utilized by the obstetricians. After an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict. Mr. Johnson was assisted at trial by Matthew L. Johnson.

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