The claim, made against King’s College Hospital, for a girl who was deprived of oxygen at birth, has been resolved at London’s High Court.
In October 2007, Eva Totham was born in the King’s College Hospital after being deprived of oxygen in the womb due to negligence of the attending medical staff. As a result, the now seven-year-old Eva, from South-East London, suffers from cerebral palsy that restricts the movements of all of her limbs and renders her unable to speak.
Despite attending a mainstream school, Eva must receive one-on-one education support and often experiences dramatic mood swings because of her inability to communicate. These, coupled with her learning disabilities, have greatly impacted her family life, causing much disruption..
Eva’s parents made a compensation claim against the hospital of their daughter’s birth, and after an investigation into the circumstances of the incident was completed, the King’s College Hospital NHS Trust conceded liability for the inadequate standard of care received during Eva’s birth.
Yet the Trust contested how much compensation the family were entitled to based upon Eva’s current and future suffering, and the loss of enjoyment in Eva’s life. They set a maximum cap of £8.7 million, and the case consequently proceeded to London’s High Court.
The hearing was presided by Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing, who was shown a DVD detailing an average day in Eva’s life, highlighting how she struggled with everyday tasks. It was also noted that both of Eva’s parents were highly successful professionals, and as such it was likely that, had she not sustained the birth injuries that she did, it would have been likely that Eva followed in their footsteps, going to university and having a professional career.
The judge awarded Eva a settlement of £10.1 million, deeming the previous figure inadequate for her situation, which will cover the costs of her care and her future loss of earnings. The judge also noted that she found it evident that Eva’s mind was bright and creative, though her body would not let her do what she willed it to.