A young girl who suffered brain damage when she was starved of oxygen shortly after her birth has today been awarded £6.2 million in compensation by the High Court to fund her ongoing care and rehabilitation needs, after the hospital where she was born admitted failures in her care.
The award comprises of lump sum and annual inflation proofed periodical payments that will continue for the rest of the child’s life.
The child, who is known only as DDD and cannot be named for legal reasons, suffers from the most severe form of cerebral palsy that affects her cognitive development, mobility and ability to communicate. The severity of her condition means she needs 24 hour care and specially adapted accommodation.
Following her birth in June 2012, DDDs family, who are from London, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Simpson Millar to investigate the care she received at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. This included concerns that medical staff had failed to identify the development of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH) until she collapsed.
In a letter sent to the family’s lawyers, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust admitted liability conceding there was a breach of duty ‘in respect of the post-natal care provided’ to DDD in the first 10 hours of life, and a ‘failure’ to adequately manage her condition.
The letter went on apologise with the Trust admitting that had this breach not occurred DDD’s brain damage would have been avoided.
The family’s lawyer, David Thomas, a Partner from Simpson Millar’s national medical negligence team who specialises in birth injury cases, said the family were ‘extremely relieved’ that the case was now drawing to a close and they can now focus on getting DDD the best 24/7 care and long term accommodation that meets her complex needs.
Mr Thomas comments: “This is a tragic case of negligence that should never have happened. DDD’s parents have shown amazing fortitude in caring for their child who has the severest form of cerebral palsy and is completely dependent upon others. Despite her profound disabilities DDD loves music and has a beautiful smile.
“The family are extremely relieved that the case is now drawing to a close and are looking forward to moving on with their lives as best they can.”
Mr Thomas went on to say: “Whilst DDD will never be in a position to live independently, the substantial damages awarded by the High Court does mean she can have access to the best specialist equipment, accommodation, therapies and ongoing care that will be required for the remainder of her life.
"Given the complexity of her needs a lot of expert evidence was required to determine what care and support she will need for the future, but the collaborative approach taken by NHS Resolution and their legal team helped to establish an out of court settlement which the High Court was happy to approve."
Medical Negligence Solicitor
Mr Justice Cotter commented, “DDD’s parents have shown extraordinary love and devotion to their daughter over the past nine years” and “The care and attention provided to DDD by her parents is truly exceptional, in that she has been blessed”.
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