Birth Injury

Birth injury lawyer Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office if you believe a birth trauma or negligence caused cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus injury), shoulder dystocia, hypoglycemia, brain damage, or complications such as preeclampsia.

What’s the Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury?

Birth Injury Statistics and Prevention

The March of Dimes has noted that “there are thousands of different birth defects,” and about 120,000 babies are born with one each year in this country.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood.” Roughly 5 to 10 percent of cerebral palsy cases are due to birth trauma that occurs during labor and delivery, per the March of Dimes.

In 2008, a CDC study titled “Preventing Unintentional Mechanical Birth Injuries” reported that as many as 15 percent of vaginal deliveries in the United States resulted in shoulder dystocia.

Not every birth injury is preventable – such as those related to genetic factors or physical abnormalities – but a few steps can be taken to prevent them, including:

  • maternal testing and education, which may include identifying high-risk pregnancies and/or giving complete and accurate details on proper prenatal care to expectant mothers.
  • accurate and timely medical diagnosis and treatment.
  • careful and skillful medical intervention in crisis pregnancy and delivery.

Christopher Mellino’s Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements

July 1, 1993, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that a jury awarded $3.99 million to a child who suffered neurological damage during delivery. “The doctor used forceps to bring Zachary out of the birth canal, but the infant’s shoulder became stuck and it crimped the umbilical cord, cutting off blood and oxygen to him for six minutes until he could be freed,” Mellino told reporters. The baby’s mother cannot work, because her child needs round-the-clock care.

This was the very first medical malpractice case that Chris tried on his own as a young lawyer and it was defended by a lawyer who had cultivated a national reputation for defending birth injury cases by at one point winning more than 30 cases in row.

April 15, 1999, a 34-year-old woman died of preeclampsia while carrying her second child. Despite suffering symptoms such as elevated blood pressure, swelling, and protein in her urine, “she received no laboratory evaluation and no treatment,” Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics reported. When she called her doctor a day before her death to say she was having problems breathing, he simply prescribed an antibiotic. Chris and his former partner settled the failure-to-diagnose-preeclampsia lawsuit for $8 million.

In April 2000, Chris Mellino settled a brachial plexus injury claim for $2.4 million. During the birth of a baby girl nearly 10 years earlier, the defendant used fundal pressure during shoulder dystocia complications. “There was a 12-minute delay between delivery of the baby’s head and the rest of her body,” Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics reported. “After delivery, the baby was not resuscitated properly, [because] the obstetrical nurses failed to follow the hospital’s code pink protocol.”

On December 31st, 2014, Chris obtained a $28.7 Million Verdict for Birth Injury on behalf of a young family. Their child was born with cerebral palsy as a result of oxygen deprivation during birth. Despite the use of a fetal heart monitor, the signs and symptoms of fetal distress were not recognized or acted upon by medical professionals. Matters were made worse by the inappropriate use of the drug pitocin. The family was awarded $28.7 million to provide for future care to their child.

For information about more recent settlements and verdicts, please contact us.

Why Should I Hire Chris Mellino to Handle My Birth Injury Lawsuit?

First, Mellino Law Firm does not advertise. Attorneys and satisfied clients send us the majority of our cases.

Second, Chris Mellino is respected throughout northeast Ohio for his ability to dig below the surface and make sure nothing is overlooked. In fact, Chris has worked on several landmark cases, including Moskovitz v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center (1994) and Watkins_v._Cleveland_Clinic_Foundation (1998).

Third, larger firms take every case that walks in the door, settle those cases for the first amount the defense offers so they can pay for their next commercial, and leave clients in the hands of “case managers.” Since medical malpractice and birth injury claims are time consuming and labor intensive, we only accept a few at a time, which enables us to give each one the unique attention it deserves. And when you call us, you’ll speak to us, not a “case manager.”

Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer. Cleveland OH Birth Injury Attorney.

Last but not least, we are the only medical malpractice law firm in Cleveland to be accepted into Primerus, which screens potential members by speaking to judges, other lawyers, bar associations, clients, and insurance carriers about a firm’s integrity, work product, fee structure, education, civility, and community service.

We welcome you to contact us with any questions you may have. You may also download or request birth injury lawyer Chris Mellino’s free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.

Download Our Birth Injury Guide