Clinical Negligence – Erb’s Palsy & Brachial Plexus Paralysis Claims

Erb’s palsy claims commonly arise out of shoulder dystocia.

Shoulder dystocia describes a situation where the fetal head has been delivered, but the shoulders are stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone and cannot be freed. If badly handled by medical staff this causes brachial plexus injuries.

The kind of deliveries in which a baby is most likely to be injured in this way include those with a large baby, breech position or prolonged labour. The injured child is left with stunted growth in the affected arm and with impaired muscular, nervous and circulatory development. The arm is much weaker than the unaffected one, and less articulate.

Financing an Erb’s Palsy Claim

Legal aid is still available to bring medical negligence claims but may soon be abolished. For children with erb’s palsy they are normally financially eligible, as they are assessed on their own finances rather than on their parents.

Erb’s palsy claims – Case Study 1

We recovered £120k in damages for our infant client, whose negligent forceps delivery had led to brachial plexus paralysis.

Erb’s palsy claims – Case Study 2

Damages of £48,000 were awarded to a claimant, whose shoulders became stuck during his delivery, resulting in traction on the brachial plexus, and right Erb’s palsy leaving him with restriction of movement in the right shoulder, elbow and forearm. This could have been avoided if an episiotomy had been performed, his mother’s position had been changed and excessive force avoided.

How Can Timms Help?

For more information on pursuing a claim relating to Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus Paralysis, please contact the team on freephone 0800 011 6666 or via email at

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