£3,650,000 Compensation for Medical Negligence Birth Injury

Author:
David Thomas
Partner, Medical Negligence Lawyer
Date:
01/05/2019

A Medical Negligence Case Study - Client Situation

A baby boy was born with a hypoxic brain injury due to being starved of oxygen to the brain during childbirth. The child was the second of twins and the first of the two was born without any disability.

However, issues arose in the 34 minutes between the two births, as the obstetrics team performing the delivery didn’t act upon an abnormal heart rate registering on CTG recordings. Instead of performing an emergency caesarean, healthcare professionals pressed on with a vaginal delivery.

The child was diagnosed with severe four limb dyskinetic cerebral palsy with a mild spastic diplegia, which means he will be economically and physically dependent upon others for the rest of his life.

How We Helped

The baby’s mother contacted our Medical Negligence Lawyers to make a claim for compensation. Clinical and Medical Negligence Lawyer David Thomas took on her case, secured Legal Aid and approached the NHS Hospital Trust responsible.

In a Letter of Claim to the Hospital Trust, it was alleged that the obstetric team handling the birth had failed to:

      • Identify abnormal CTG traces in a timely manner
      • Perform an emergency caesarean section as soon as the CTG mandated action

These failings were cited as the cause of the resulting cerebral palsy and related physical and mental disabilities. However, the Hospital Trust denied liability, arguing that the CTG trace didn’t necessitate an emergency caesarean delivery.

Both parties in this birth injury case consulted with independent medical experts on the matter, which led to a major difference of opinion over interpretation.

The Outcome

After Court proceedings got underway, a Joint Settlement Meeting was set up in an effort to avoid a fully contested Court hearing. At this point, the Hospital Trust accepted that we had gathered compelling evidence that medical mistakes were made before, during and after the child’s birth.

The Hospital Trust originally offered to settle for £500,000 and then £2.5 million. Clinical Negligence Solicitor David Thomas told them in no uncertain terms that both offers of compensation were too low. It then became clear that the Hospital Trust wanted to avoid a lengthy Court hearing, and as a result, a compensation settlement of £3.65 million plus legal costs was agreed.

Since the child lacked the mental capacity to make informed decisions for himself, and was therefore classed as a Protected Party, this compensation settlement had to be approved by the Court, to ensure it was in his best interests.

Simpson Millar took on and succeeded in this case after it was rejected by another national law firm, on the grounds that there wasn’t enough supporting expert evidence. However, David Thomas and his team of medical negligence claims specialists were happy to represent the child’s interests and were able to construct a compelling case after instructing our own tried and trusted medical experts.

This led to the Hospital Trust and their legal team agreeing to a negotiated compensation settlement, which will ensure the child’s care and support needs are met for the rest of his life.

See all Medical Negligence Case Studies.

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