birth injuries

Birth Mistakes & Delivery Room Errors: Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

May 6, 2013

An error during labor and delivery can lead to serious injuries, disfigurement, and even death. If you suspect that negligence caused a birth injury, contact our Cleveland lawyers today for a free consultation, or request Chris Mellino’s free, easy-to-read guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.

Potential Birth Injuries

A mistake in the delivery room can lead to a variety of issues, including:

  • Cerebral palsy – This condition may be related to lack of oxygen to the brain. It may lead to motor skills impairment and may be associated with other developmental problems.
  • Erb’s palsy – Caused by damage to the brachial plexus (nerves around the neck) that may affect movement of the arm.
  • Facial palsy – If a birth mistake damages a cranial nerve, it may lead to a loss of control of facial muscles. It may go away on its own, but some require therapy.
  • Cephalohematoma – This is a collection of blood between the skull and periosteum, which could increase risk for jaundice. It may be related to use of vacuum assisted delivery.

These injuries may be genetic or the result of normal labor and delivery procedures, but a birth mistake may also be to blame in some cases in Ohio. Medical malpractice lawyers in Cleveland may consult a medical expert to review the circumstances of the birth to determine if negligence and medical malpractice may be the cause of the injuries.

How Birth Mistakes and Injuries Occur

Birth injuries may occur through negligence or medical malpractice. For example, doctors and nurses may fail to monitor the oxygen levels and heart rates of the baby and mother during labor. Not recognizing a lack of oxygen could lead to cerebral palsy in some cases.

The doctor may also be at fault for failing to properly address a situation in which the child becomes stuck in the birth canal. This could lead to damage the brachial plexus or other nerves because of trauma during the delivery. A doctor using forceps or vacuum extraction with too much force or using the devices improperly can cause injury to the baby, too.


If your child suffered a birth injury, you may be able to recover compensation for all medical bills, including:

  • hospitalization;
  • surgery;
  • rehabilitation;
  • medical supplies; and
  • medications.

Parents, who are often concerned about what will happen to their child if something happens to them, may be able to pursue compensation for future care and treatment. A birth injury lawyer can help calculate these damages.

How Do I File a Claim?

Although not all injuries and medical conditions can be prevented, doctors have the duty to take proper steps to properly address complications. If you have questions about your child’s birth injury, lawyer Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download or request Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide to filing a claim in Ohio.

Why Should I Trust 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. Others find us online.

Second, Chris Mellino is respected throughout northeast Ohio for his ability to dig below the surface and make sure no fact is overlooked. In fact, Chris has been involved in several landmark cases, including Moskovitz v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center (1994) and Watkins_v._Cleveland_Clinic_Foundation (1998). In the latter, he and his previous partner were awarded the largest verdict in the state that year.

Third, personal injury claims are time consuming and labor intensive, so we’re selective about the cases we accept. Some firms:

  • take every case that walks in the door,
  • settle those cases for the first amount the defendant offers, so they can fund their next commercial to bring in even more clients, and
  • leave their clients in the hands of first-year associates, paralegals, or case managers.

We only pursue compensation for patients who’ve suffered a severe injury or disability. By limiting the number of cases we accept, we’re able to give each claim the attention it deserves.

Last but not least, since 2010, Mellino Law Firm is 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.

If you have questions about a delivery room mistake or similar cases we’ve handled, attorney Chris Mellino invites you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation.