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Recent Claims for Children

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:

£7.4 million compensation for delayed diagnosis of Medulloblastoma

Kerstin Kubiak, Partner, acted for M, a child who suffered significant neurological injury as a result of a negligent 9 month delay in diagnosis of a Medulloblastoma brain tumour.

M required an MRI scan of her brain when she was aged 11 years as she had been suffering with prolonged vomiting.  The scan was reported as normal.  Her symptoms continued and became worse, including frequently falling over, and therefore her parents sought urgent further medical advice 9 months later.  A further scan was performed and a mass was noted.  M underwent urgent neurosurgery to reduce pressure on her brain, followed by a further operation 2 days later to remove the tumour, which was diagnosed as a Medulloblastoma.

The Defendant admitted that a mass had been present on the earlier scan and should have been diagnosed at the time, and therefore there had been a 9 month delay in diagnosis during which the tumour grew considerably.  M required much more extensive neurosurgery as a result of the delayed diagnosis, together with very aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy as metastases were present.  She suffered permanent neurological injury as a result causing:

  • Dysarthia (speech difficulties);
  • An ataxic gait giving rise to difficulty with stairs and risk of falls as well as an inability to walk any significant distance;
  • A marked tremor in the right and left hand;
  • Co-ordination difficulties and a cerebellar tremor;
  • Visual impairment including double vision and reduced vision in both eyes;
  • Bilateral facial palsies requiring significant facial surgery;
  • Upper limb weakness;
  • Personality change;
  • Cognitive problems including marked difficulty with concentration and processing difficulties;
  • Extreme fatigue and sleep difficulties.

M requires lifelong 24 hour care and support.  It is likely that M will be unable to gain remunerative employment as a result of her injuries in adulthood, and she requires assistance in managing her financial affairs.

M was awarded compensation for her injuries. This comprised an immediate lump sum of £2.4 million plus yearly payments for the rest of her life:

1. Care and Case Management:
– To age 19 – £115,000;
– Age 19 to 45 – £135,000;
– From age 45 – £149,000.
2. Loss of Earnings £15,000 per annum from age 21 to age 65
3. Court of Protection/Deputyship costs to assist our client to manage her compensation £10,000.

These payments are index linked and guaranteed every year for the rest of her life.  It is estimated that this amounts to an equivalent capitalised sum of £7.4 million.  The compensation will provide M with adapted accommodation and specialist equipment, together with meeting her care needs for the rest of her life.

£30,000 compensation for child wrongly diagnosed with CAH

Simon Elliman won £30,000 compensation for H, who was mistakenly diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) as a baby, and continued to receive treatment for the condition unnecessarily until the age of 14. H was critically ill as a baby, and blood tests were performed which were consistent with a diagnosis of CAH. However, afterwards, other test results (in particular a urine test) were inconsistent with the diagnosis, and the hospital failed to follow up the tests to either confirm or exclude the diagnosis.  As a result H was on steroids for 14 years, and believed, as he grew up, that he had a serious medical condition which he did not have. The steroids caused him to put on weight, which he found distressing, but otherwise no long term damage was done, so damages in the sum of £30,000 were found to be appropriate.

£100,000 awarded for loss of hearing

One of our clinical negligence specialists, Richard Coleman, recovered £100,000 for a child who suffered bilateral hearing loss as a result of the the negligent handling of her birth.

£445,000 awarded for undiagnosed congenital hip displacement

Kerstin Kubiak, Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team recovered £445,000 for a 12 year old girl whose congenital hip displacement was not diagnosed and treated until over a year after her birth.

Following her delivery, the girl’s mother noticed that her right foot flopped inwards but was assured this was no cause for concern, despite the fact that there was a family history of congenital displacement of the hip. It was not until some 17 months later, following a referral by her GP, that the displacement was finally diagnosed.

£488,000 awarded for failure to diagnose congenital hip displacement

Kerstin Kubiak recovered compensation for a baby girl after the defendant hospital trust failed on numerous occasions to diagnose her congenital displacement of the hip.

An examination of her hips was undertaken following her delivery but no abnormality was detected.Over the following months it became apparent that her left foot inverted when she was supported in an upright position and so her mother took her to her GP, who in turn transferred her back to the hospital. It was only at this stage that the displaced hip was recognised.

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