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During Claudia’s delivery in 1994 her shoulder became stuck behind her mother’s pubic symphysis (shoulder dystocia).

We argued that the obstetric team failed to apply the correct abdominal pressure on Claudia’s mother to try to dislodge the shoulder. Further that the team applied excessive traction to Claudia’s head and brachial plexus to try to deliver her.

Our medical expert said that the excessive nature of the force used to deliver Claudia was evidenced by the extent of the injury to her brachial plexus. All 5 nerve roots were damaged. This meant that Claudia’s right arm had very limited function. Claudia underwent three attempts at remedial surgery but without success.

The hospital denied liability. It argued the injury happened due to the baby’s posture during the pregnancy or due to the normal forces of delivery.

Before court proceedings were issued the defendant offered to settle the claim for just under £129,000. This was eventually increased to £250,000.

Samantha Critchley who acted for Claudia advised that this was too low given Claudia had suffered such a serious and permanent injury. She therefore issued proceedings at the High Court in April 2008. The hospital indicated their intention to defend the claim, but after further negotiation agreed to

£335,000 in damages. This was approved by the court in March 2009. The case was funded by legal aid.


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For further information or if you have a Erb's Palsy please call Samantha Critchley on 020 7861 4263 or email


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