£550,000 Compensation Payout in Childbirth Injury Case

Author:
Kay Barnes
Partner, Medical Negligence Solicitor
Date:
02/08/2019

A Medical Negligence Case Study - Client Situation

A baby suffered a brachial plexus injury and Erb’s Palsy during childbirth at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, causing permanent damage and life-long problems with her left arm. The mother considered that excessive force had been applied during the delivery and that the healthcare professionals handling the child birth had been negligent.

How We Helped

The mother contacted our Medical Negligence Solicitors, and the case was taken on by Simpson Millar Partner Kay Barnes, who worked as a nurse and midwife for fourteen years before studying law and qualifying as a Solicitor. Kay was assisted in running the case by Laura Brannan, a Paralegal who is currently completing her Legal Practice Course.

Firstly, Kay obtained the client’s medical records and brought in independent medical experts in the fields of obstetrics and orthopaedics. They examined the medical records to assess whether or not the care provided was acceptable, and concluded that the care administered during child birth had been negligent.

Specifically, the independent medical experts said that when the labour became obstructed and there was difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder, proper protocols and accepted clinical practice were not followed and errors had been made which caused the child’s Erb’s Palsy.

Once a case was established, a Letter of Claim was sent to the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust setting out the basis on which it was considered the care had been negligent and what injuries and loss had been suffered by our client as a consequence.

Initially, the NHS Trust responded by denying liability, leaving no option but to issue Court proceedings. However, they did subsequently admit liability and following the Trust’s admission, an Interim Payment of £20,000 compensation was awarded to our client.

However, the claim then needed to be quantified, which required further investigation of the extent of the childbirth injuries, and their long-term condition and prognosis.

Updated medical records and further medical evidence from experts in the fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing care were obtained to assess and quantify the client’s present and long-term needs for the child.

The Outcome

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust made two offers of compensation to settle the case, firstly £280,000 and then £350,000. However, with continued negotiation, Solicitor Kay Barns achieved a significantly increased figure. The case concluded after both parties agreed to a settlement figure of £550,000 compensation plus a payment of £25,000 was made to our client in respect of past care provided.

See all Medical Negligence Case Studies.

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