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Birth Injuries Girl Wins £1.7 Million Compensation

Published: 09 June 2014, in categories: Personal Injury Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Lawyers for a nine-year-old girl who was left with severe cerebral palsy as a result of catastrophic brain damage suffered during her birth have achieved a £1.7 million settlement of her case against the NHS.

The girl was starved of oxygen during her mother’s labour and, as a result, needs around-the-clock care and is completely dependent on a wheelchair. She is unable to lift her head, is fed through a tube, is unable to communicate and suffers various health problems, including epilepsy.

Through her parents, she sued the NHS trust responsible for the hospital where she was born, alleging negligent delays in her delivery. It was submitted that the mother was advised three times by midwives to stay at home when she rang to report increased and constant pain.

Complications later arose and it was alleged that, had the mother been told to attend hospital immediately, her daughter would have been born uninjured up to two hours earlier. The trust denied liability for the girl’s injuries but agreed to the settlement, which will provide her with a specially adapted home and will at least partially cover the costs of her care for the rest of her life.

The settlement was made up of an £800,000 lump sum, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free payments of £90,000 for the rest of her life. The total package was valued at £1.7 million.

Approving the settlement, the judge told the mother, "It has been a long road for you and your daughter. You will appreciate that there was a lot of possibility for this case to go wrong, in the sense that she could have got a lot less than has been offered and, in the worst case, she could have got nothing at all. That would have been too terrible to contemplate. The sum that she is getting will be something that I hope, and I am sure you hope, will make a difference to her life. I have no hesitation in saying that this is a fair and reasonable settlement in a difficult case."

Speaking after the hearing, the mother said, "It is too late for our daughter and for us as a family, but I would like to think that lessons can be learned from this case by all parties concerned so that future parents and new-born children are not exposed to the same fate. We have been fighting repeatedly for justice for our daughter during the last nine years and never gave up."

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