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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Jury sides with doctor over C-section claims

Jury sides with doctor over C-section claims

A St. Louis County jury sided with a delivery doctor after a mother alleged that a C-section would have prevented injuries to her baby.

The April 10, 2019 birth of Jessica Huett’s child, J.H., resulted in a brachial plexus palsy during delivery. Huett alleged J.H. had permanent limited use of the right arm and current and future cognitive impairment.

Huett allged that her doctor, Kent Branson, should have proposed a C-section before or during Huett’s labor, according to an email from Erica B. Slater of The Simon Law Firm.

“At trial, we argued Dr. Branson should have changed the management plan from a vaginal birth to a C-section to avoid the potential complications, such as shoulder dystocia, that were forecasted by J.H.’s failure to descend down the birth canal,” Slater wrote.

Randy Bauman of Eckenrode | Maupin represents the defendant.

“In this instance, he met the standard of care in addressing the mother’s pre-natal needs, estimating the fetus’ birth weight, monitoring the mother and fetus during labor, and in effectuating delivery of the newborn,” Bauman wrote in an email.

According to Bauman, defense experts also testified that the brachial plexus injury could have occurred before Branson touched the baby during delivery.

The jury deliberated for less than two hours before it ruled in favor of Branson and KDB Enterprises. The case is now on appeal.

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Defense verdict

Medical malpractice

Venue: St. Louis County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 20SL-CC03084/June 23, 2022

Judge: Dean P. Waldemer

Plaintiffs’ Experts: Dr. Paula Kolbas, Needham, Massachusetts (obstetrics and gynecology); Dr. Stephen L. Nelson, New Orleans, Louisiana (neurology); Dr. Lisa D. Settles, New Orleans, Louisiana (clinical psychology); Nancy J. Bond, Millersville, Maryland (life care planning); David S. Gibson, Glen Ellyn, Illinois (accounting, damages, economics)

Defendants’ Experts: Dr. Timothy C. Philpott, St. Louis (obstetrics and gynecology); Dr. Suneet Chauhan, Houston, Texas (maternal fetal medicine); Michelle Grimm, Canton, Michigan (biomechanical engineering); Dr. Michael S. Duchowny, Miami, Florida (pediatric neurology); Dr. Michael E. Msall, Chicago, Illinois (pediatrics); Rebecca Summary, Cape Girardeau, Missouri (accounting, damages, economics)

Special Damages: $115,621 in past medical bills, $618,089 in future medical needs, between $1,082,399 and $3,152,941 for future loss of earning capacity, $3,000,000 in past non-economic damages, $7,000,000 in future non-economic damages.

Last Pretrial Demand: $1,000,000

Last Pretrial Offer: $300,000

Insurer: Missouri Doctors Mutual for defendants

Caption: Jessica Huett, natural mother and next friend of J.H., a minor v. Kent D. Branson and KDB Enterprises Inc.

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Erica B. Slater and Amy Gunn, The Simon Law Firm, St. Louis

Defendants’ Attorneys: Randall A. Bauman and Rachel Schafer, Eckenrode | Maupin, St. Louis

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