Patrick G. Vipond

Michael L. Storey

Partners Patrick G. Vipond and Michael L. Storey recently obtained a directed verdict at trial on behalf of an Iowa obstetrician. Plaintiff alleged that the obstetrician and a family medicine physician, who was represented by different counsel, failed to obtain informed consent when the obstetrician recommended that the diabetic mother proceed with a vaginal delivery for a baby with an estimated fetal weight of 10 pounds, 8 ounces. During delivery, the baby’s left shoulder became lodged behind the mother’s pelvis (a “shoulder dystocia”) and, as a result, plaintiff alleges that the brachial plexus nerves in the baby’s neck were stretched and ultimately injured. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $7,000,000.00 for the permanent injury to his 5-year-old client’s right shoulder and arm. After three days of trial, however, the Judge agreed with LDM’s briefing and arguments that plaintiff failed to establish the necessary elements under Iowa law. The Court directed verdict in favor of the obstetrician and awarded no money to the plaintiff. The family medicine physician received a defense verdict after only a few hours of deliberation.