Pennsylvania Doctor Ordered To Pay $4 Million In Personal Injury Damages After Mother And Child Injured Due to Birth Error.

Giving birth, while life-changing, can be extremely dangerous for a woman and her child. Soon to be parents trust medical providers to utilize all of their knowledge, skill and available technology to detect any potential problems and to make sure that the birthing process is carried out smoothly and properly.  If there is an oversight or a mistake during the delivery process, serious, life-long injuries can result for the mother or her child. When that happens, the doctors involved in the medical malpractice may be held accountable for the personal injuries they cause.

This was, unfortunately, the case for Erin McCarthy and her daughter.   According to, Ms. McCarthy’s daughter, Chloe McCarthy, who is now seven-years-old, suffers mild cerebral palsy and neurological injuries as a result of her delivery.  Ms. McCarthy, herself, was also injured as a result of giving birth and has been rendered incontinent and unable to return to work.  Ms. McCarthy argued that her and her daughter’s injuries stem from the negligence of her doctor and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Ms. McCarthy’s attorney, Stephen Pokiniewski, argued that her doctor, Dr. Garry C. Karounos, failed to perform a cesarean section, and instead opted to continue with a natural delivery.  This, it is argued, was negligent and led to Ms. McCarthy and her daughter’s injuries.  When Ms. McCarthy entered the Lehigh Valley Hospital to have her baby, officials testified that there were warning signs of complications in the pregnancy—particularly, that her labor stopped progressing for nearly eight hours and that Chloe weighed ten pounds.  Ms. McCarthy reportedly stated that she was concerned with giving birth to such a large child, but Dr. Karounos allegedly said there was nothing to worry about and opted not to perform a caesarian delivery.

When Dr. Karounos proceeded with a vaginal delivery, however, Ms. McCarthy became too tired to continue pushing. During the delivery, the baby’s shoulder became stuck on her mother’s pelvis, causing a crucial 3.5 minute delay when the baby was deprived of oxygen.  After filing a birth injury lawsuit to recover for her pain and suffering, as well as cover future medical expenses for her daughter, a jury awarded Ms. McCarthy $4 million in personal injury damages.

If you or a family member have been injured during a birthing delivery, you may be able to hold the hospital or doctor accountable.  Contact our Massachusetts birth injury attorneys to learn about your legal options.  Please email us at or call any time of day at 617-787-3700.

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