A doctor with Anderson Hospital denied liability in a lawsuit alleging he negligently caused a newborn baby to suffer a severe shoulder injury during delivery.

Plaintiff Chris Ninness filed the lawsuit individually and on behalf of her minor daughter against Dr. James Della Riva, an obstetrician and gynecologist.

She claims she was a patient of Della Riva at Anderson Hospital in Maryville during her pregnancy in 2013.

According to her Sept. 17 complaint, Ninness began having a high glucose level in February 2013 and that her abdominal size was increasing more than it should at each monthly exam leading up to her delivery date.

She claims she gained 53 pounds by her eighth month but was never given dietary counseling, was never given an ultrasound to determine her baby’s weight and was never given the recommendation to have a Cesarean section delivery, the suit states.

The plaintiff alleges that during delivery, her baby’s right shoulder became lodged on her pelvic bone and Della Riva had to put excessive downward pressure to the baby’s head and neck, leaving the girl with a severe shoulder injury, the complaint states.

Ninness accuses Della Riva of negligence.

Della Riva responded to the complaint on Nov. 17, denying the allegations against him, and instead asserted affirmative defenses against the plaintiff.

Della Riva claims any said damages or injuries were caused by third parties, whose conduct he is not responsible for.

The defendant adds that if a judgment is entered against him, he is entitled to apportionment of fault and negligence between all entities who caused or contributed to the alleged injuries.

The plaintiff seeks more than $50,000 in damages for medical expenses and court costs.

Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder is presiding over the case.

Ninness is represented by Brent A. Sumner of St. Louis.

J. Thaddeus Eckenrode of the Eckenrode-Maupin law firm in St. Louis represents Dalla Riva.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-1378

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