Medical malpractice award in Otsego County case closely watched

By Candace Chapman

Credit: MGN Online

Medical malpractice award in Otsego County case closely watched

April 17, 2013 Updated Apr 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM EDT

Cooperstown, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A civil jury awarded a family in Otsego County $2.1 million dollars after hearing a medical malpractice case.

The case involved a birth injury known as Erb's palsy in which a newborn suffers paralysis in an arm during an abnormal or difficult childbirth or labor.

Delores Brandenburg brought the lawsuit on behalf of her daughter who is now seven years old.

The defendants were Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, Bassett Healthcare and certified nurse midwife Patricia Brown.

The lawsuit claimed Brandenburg did not receive appropriate prenatal care and that Brown caused the injury by pulling too hard on the baby's head during delivery.

“As a result, the child has suffered a permanent injury to the nerves in her neck and has limited mobility in her left arm,” said Christina Sonsire, an attorney representing the family.

Sonsire is with the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira. The family hired attorney Joseph Lichtenstein, of Mineola, who brought Sonsire in to try the case.

The lawsuit was heard by a six member jury in Supreme Court of Otsego County. The trial lasted three weeks and the jury determined the $2.1 million dollar settlement on Tuesday. According to Sonsire the money goes to Brandenburg's daughter.

“Attorneys across the country were paying attention to this trial because the defendants claimed this injury happened before the girl was born,” Sonsire said. “The case will have significance in all future litigation of this type of case.”

A spokesperson for Bassett Healthcare responded that Bassett needs time to review the decision and declined comment.

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