Claim for Failing to Act on Abnormal Heartbeat Resolved at Hearing

A claim for failing to act on an abnormal heartbeat has been resolved at the High Court after a judge approved a compensation package in favour of a seven-year-old boy from North Yorkshire.

Toby Hart from Bedale in North Yorkshire needs around-the-clock care after midwives at Friarage Hospital in Northallerton failed to act on an abnormal heartbeat reading, delaying his birth by 25 minutes and starving his brain of oxygen.

Toby was born severely disabled, and has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning difficulties. He is registered blind and for the first seven years of his life he has been supported by his parents – Michelle and Matthew Hart.

Michelle and Matthew made a compensation claim for failing to act on an abnormal heartbeat and, after the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acknowledged that errors had been made at Toby´s birth, they started to receive interim payments of compensation.

Eventually a compensation package was agreed upon that will provide care and support for Toby for the rest of his life and, at the High Court in London, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies heard an apology read to the family on behalf of the NHS Foundation Trust.

In the apology, a spokesperson from the NHS Foundation Trust said that no amount of money can compensate adequately for the injury suffered by Toby but it was hoped that the agreed sum will give the family some financial security and provide for Toby’s needs now and in the future.

The family are to receive a lump sum of £2 million pounds in settlement of their claim for failing to act on an abnormal heartbeat, with annual payments of almost £500,000 thereafter. Mrs Justice Nicola Davies approved the settlement, adding “I know nothing can turn the clock back”.

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