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Recent Birth injury and Cerebral Palsy Claims

The Clinical Negligence Team have recovered very substantial sums of compensation for clients in a number of medical negligence claims. Here are a selection of our most recent successful cases:

£8.6 million compensation for cerebral palsy caused by delayed delivery

Kerstin Kubiak represented a 24 year old female client in her claim for compensation for the severe brain injuries she suffered as a result of negligence around the time of her delivery. The allegations were that the hospital was negligent in its use of Prostin during her mother’s labour which caused excessive contractions and in turn caused our client to suffer lack of oxygen. There was then a delay in identifying that our client was in distress during labour as a result of the excessive contractions and therefore a delay in delivering her by emergency caesarean section. Had she been delivered about 20 minutes earlier than she was then she would have avoided all injury.

Our client was subsequently diagnosed with choreo-athetoid cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs. She had severe motor disability, as well as severe speech and communication problems.  She was assessed as being unlikely to obtain remunerative employment as a result of her severe disabilities, and lacking capacity to manage her financial affairs.

A full admission of liability was made by the Defendant at an early stage in the case, accepting that our client’s disabilities were caused by their negligent mismanagement of her mother’s labour. This early admission meant that our client could receive interim payments on account of her final compensation, to enable her to have the assistance of a private Case Manager, private 24-hour care regime, adapted accommodation, therapies and equipment, while her final compensation was being assessed.

A settlement was reached out of Court for a capitalised sum of £8.6 million, which included the following payments:

  • A lump sum of £3,250,000;
  • £130,345 per year for care, for the rest of our client’s life;
  • £32,000 per year for therapies and the costs of a professional Deputy to manage her financial affairs, for the rest of our client’s life;
  • £22,000 per year for the loss of earnings suffered by our client, until our client reaches 68 years of age.

£6.6 million compensation for injuries due to negligent delay in delivery

The Clinical Negligence Team’s Paul Rumley and Hannah Blackwell recently acted for a 9 year old boy, in a claim for damages for severe injuries suffered around the time of his birth.

The team secured an admission from the Defendant that there was a negligent 20 minute delay in hour client’s delivery such that he suffered significant brain damage resulting in bilateral dystonic athetoid cerebral palsy. This resulted in our client having problems with muscle tone affecting all 4 limbs, needing to be fed by a gastrostomy tube, and having significant cognitive impairment such that he is never going to have the capacity to live independently or manage his own affairs. It was also estimated that our client had a reduced life expectancy to 39 years of age as a result of his injuries.

An interesting point in this case was that it was felt that our client could  understand more than was apparent from his severely limited communication – a major part of the case was therefore to provide funding to improve our client’s ability to communicate, which in turn would improve his intellectual development and quality of everyday life.

A settlement was reached, one week before Trial was due to begin, in a capitalised sum of £6.6 million. This included the following payments:

– A lump sum of £2,675,000 to allow the purchase of a suitably adapted home and aids and equipment amongst other things.

£157,000 per year for care until our client reaches 19 years of age.

£201,800 per year for care every year from 19 years of age.

£7,000 per year for the Deputyship costs for someone to help our client manage the compensation award.

£8,700,000 awarded for oxygen deprivation during birth

Kerstin Kubiak, Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team, acted for J, a 20 year man who suffered oxygen deprivation during his birth as a result of the hospital medical staff failing to react to a deterioration in his heart rate during labour and failing to undertake an immediate forceps delivery.

As a result of these failures J has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He has significant problems with his motor function. He will be dependent on a wheelchair for the rest of his life and requires care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

J received compensation of £3.5 million together with yearly payments of £160,000 increasing to £230,000 at 50 years of age, for the rest of his life. The compensation payments will allow J to purchase and adapt a suitable house to facilitate his use of a wheelchair and include accommodation for his carers. It will also pay for his ongoing specialist care for the rest of his life, providing him with security.

£9,570,000 awarded for oxygen deprivation during birth

Kerstin Kubiak, Partner and birth injury specialist in the Clinical Negligence Team acted for a 9 year old girl who suffered oxygen deprivation during her birth as a result of the hospital trust staff failing to react to signs of fetal distress and failing to undertake an emergency caesarean section.

As a result of this she has had significant problems with her motor function with limited mobility and is dependant on care 24 hours a day to ensure her well being. The compensation received will allowed for a full care package to be implemented. The compensation will also allow her parents to afford the therapies she requires (physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and speech and language therapy) as well as purchasing a home to facilitate free use of her wheelchair through the home. The Damages were awarded by way of a lump sum of £3,850,000 and then annual periodical payments, increasing to reach £210,000 for the remainder of her life.’

£11,400,000 for negligent failure to proceed to a caesarean section

Tracy Norris-Evans, a highly experienced Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team, represented the Claimant. The Claimant who was one of twins, should have been delivered by elective caesarean section, rather than attempting a natural delivery and during the course of the delivery there was a negligent failure to proceed to a caesarean section earlier and negligence in attempting an instrumental delivery.

The Claimant was delivered in a very poor condition, and has very severe mixed Cerebral Palsy affecting her whole body (asymmetric mixed spastic dystonic tetraplegia). She has epilepsy and is wholly dependant on able adults to take care of her needs 24 hours a day in all aspects of her life and will not achieve any functional independence in standing or walking. She requires two carers for transfers and an awake night carer. She will be dependant on a wheelchair for her entire life and is doubly incontinent. She is partially fed through a gastronomy and has severely limited communication skills.

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