Brachial Plexus Wage Loss Expert Witness – Calculating Lost Earnings Damages in Birth Injury Cases

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that originate in the cervical spine (neck)  and travel down the arm (s). These nerves control the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, as well as provide feeling in the arm. Some brachial plexus injuries are minor and will completely recover in several weeks. Other injuries are severe and could cause permanent impairment in the arm (s) as well as disability. The more severe injuries will cause limited range of motion of the effected arm and can cause a shortening of the arm if a child has not completely finished his or her physical development at the time of the injury.

The brachial plexus nerves can be damaged by stretching, pressure or cutting. Stretching can occur when the head and neck are forced away from the shoulder. If severe enough, the nerves can tear out of the spinal cord in the neck.

Brachial plexus injuries occur all too often during birth. Research in one study has shown an incidence of 1–2 per 1000 live births. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008 Jun;90(6):1258-64.

The epidemiology of neonatal brachial plexus palsy in the United States.

. The nerve damage has been connected to birth weight with larger newborns being more susceptible to the injury but it also has to do with the delivery methods.

Many brachial plexus injuries result in vocational impact and earnings loss. With infants suffering a birth injury the loss would be for their entire work life. A brachial plexus wage loss expert witness can be employed to calculate loss of earning capacity due to a brachial plexus birth injury of a newborn baby.

The loss of earning capacity to a child over their work life expectancy from a brachial plexus injury varies and is dependent on : 1. The severity of the condition, 2. The inherent intellectual functioning of the child and 3. The age of the child at which the case has been filed. The younger the child (ages birth to ten), the less likely their intelligence has been stabilized or which the I.Q. can be  reliably measured. In cases where the child is too young to have their intelligence reliably measured  the parents’ intelligence is assessed and would be the basis for establishing what a child’s future potential intellectual level would be. Children over the age of seven have a more reliable I.Q. score. The reason for assessing intellect, is that an Average and above aged child has a greater likelihood of entering and completing a college degree. With a college degree the child’s future earnings are greater than a non college graduate and the time in the work force is longer.


image001Kenneth Manges, Ph.D. is the former President of the American Board of Vocational Experts. Dr. Manges has 30+ years’ experience as a retained expert witness. He has testified as a retained expert witness in State, Federal and Military Matters.  Dr. Manges is a vocational expert based in Cincinnati, Ohio who provides loss of earning capacity and ability to work opinions in cases which include birth defects, personal injury and divorce.  He may be contacted at manges@drmanges.com or Cell: 513 289-4847.