Doctor Admits No Medical Basis for Ordering of Procedure that Caused Patient Permanent Damage
Andalusia, Alabama - On Thursday, April 23, 2009, after 3 1/2 days in trial, the parents of Donnie Powell, Jr. settled on his behalf with Dr. William Profilet and Andalusia Regional Hospital for $700,000. Donnie suffered permanent damage to his right arm from an injury he sustained at birth leaving him little opportunity to ever play sports or perform day-to-day activities with his right arm. The medical malpractice suit was filed in 2005 against Dr. William Profilet (for ordering fundal pressure and for use of excessive traction on Donnie's head during delivery) and against the Hospital (for the nursing staff's performance of fundal pressure.) After the settlement was reached, Donnie Powell, Sr. stated, "I would like to thank Mr. Worel, Mr. Cain, Beverly, Dana and the entire staff of Cunningham Bounds on behalf of Donnie Jr. and the Powell family. Cunningham Bounds is a true blessing from above and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. May God bless them all."
Donnie Powell, Jr., born April 24, 2003, was stuck behind his mother's pubic bone during delivery and Dr. William Profilet ordered fundal pressure be applied by the nurse. Fundal pressure is pressure exerted by a healthcare provider on the top of the mother's stomach from behind the baby, which forces the baby down the birth canal. If the baby's shoulder is stuck, the use of fundal pressure drives the baby's shoulder further into the pubic bone, increasing the impaction, worsening the situation, and greatly increasing the risk of injury. Applying fundal pressure in this type of circumstance is dangerous and contraindicated according to all available medical research. As a result of the applied pressure and excessive traction placed on Donnie's head, the brachial plexus nerves on the right side of Donnie's body were injured. Donnie's right arm was permanently damaged in the process. During a deposition, Dr. Profilet admitted there was no medical reason or indication for the use of fundal pressure during Donnie's delivery, but he ordered it anyway, "subjecting Donnie to serious risk of injury without any justification," said one of Powell's attorneys, David Cain, a partner with Cunningham Bounds.
Due to the significance of Donnie's injury, he will not ever be able to work in a position requiring two arm lifting or manual labor. Thus, his family believes that it is of utmost importance that he receives a college education so that he can support himself as an adult. The money from the settlement will be put towards college education for Donnie. "Given Donnie's injury, his education is going to be a top priority and we are glad we have afforded him the opportunity to receive the education he needs and deserves," remarked Cain. Additional counsel for the plaintiff was Mike Worel, a partner at Cunningham Bounds.
The law firm of Cunningham Bounds, founded in 1958, is based in Mobile, Alabama and has been representing plaintiffs for over 50 years. The firm provides services in the following areas: personal injury, business litigation, product liability and medical malpractice. In addition, the firm has expertise in national and state class action litigation involving defective products, consumer fraud, and complex litigation. For more information, visit cunninghambounds.com.
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The following language is required by Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2[e]: "These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers."