$1.8 Million Verdict for Brachial Plexus Injury Case
A Douglas County jury compensated Chaylee Bentzinger-Hill, a 3-year-old Omaha girl, $1.8 million for injuries the young girl suffered at birth. Chaylee's left arm is effectively paralyzed after she suffered ripped and ruptured nerves during her delivery in June of 2008, and the child's left arm will likely be of little use as it only shows slight flickers of movement. Trial attorney and physician Joseph Cullen explained that the mother's obstetrician, Dr. Ann Sjulin, made a few critical mistakes during the baby's delivery which caused the birth injury, including dealing improperly with "shoulder dystocia", which occurs when a baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pelvic bone.
For young Chaylee's past and future medical bills, as well as any decrease in wages she may incur because of her injury, the jury compensated slightly more than $1.2 million, in addition to $600,000 for her pain and suffering. With the exception of $5,000 given to her parents, the jury directed the entire amount to the child. The mother of the 3-year-old girl, Charlene Bentzinger, states the jury's verdict is bittersweet as she knows her daughter will never be 100 percent. This case marks the second time a Douglas County jury has compensated a $1 million-plus verdict for a baby's delivery-related injury; the first was also won by Cullan & Cullan in March of 2010.