A New Jersey family claimed that a series of mistakes made by a New Jersey certified nurse-midwife during delivery in 2013 left their infant with a significant birth injury requiring multiple surgeries and leaving the child permanently disabled. After pre-trial negotiations that failed to achieve a settlement, the jury in the case awarded the child a $1.75 million verdict.
The birth injury occurred at AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey when Jocelyn Drummond gave birth under the care of Rachael Grencavich. The certified nurse-midwife was accused of negligence after the newborn’s left shoulder became caught on his mother’s pubic bone. Though Grencavich attempted a few different positions to ease the delivery, she ended up pulling him from the birth canal by his head, causing shoulder dystocia, a birth injury in which nerve damage occurs as a result of force.
Birth Injury Blamed On Nurse Midwife’s Negligence
Though the nurse-midwife blamed the birth injury on the force of the delivery, the jury heard evidence that she had failed to follow certain steps that are required in situations where an infant’s shoulder gets stuck, and also had not made sure that there were enough staff members present in order for her to complete recommended maneuvers to ease the birth. As a result, the delivery took place while the shoulder was still caught, and that is how the nerve got torn.
Prior to the beginning of the trial, the nurse midwife’s legal team had offered what is known as a $500,000-$100,000 high-low offer, which would have meant that no matter what the verdict in the birth injury case, the boy would receive no more than $500,000 and no less than $100,000. The family rejected this offer, and the jury ended up awarding them $1 million for pain and suffering, $565,000 for future lost earning capacity and $182,505 for past medical expenses.