A man from Oxfordshire, who suffers from cerebral palsy, has been awarded compensation for catastrophic birth injuries thirty-three years after he was born.
Ian Murphy was born at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in 1977. Prior to his delivery, Ian was starved of oxygen in the womb and was born with cerebral palsy. Ian has been confined to a wheelchair all of his life and experiences difficulty in communicating.
For thirty-three years, Ian has been cared for by his parents; but, as his parents were getting older and felt that they could not provide the support Ian needed for much longer, they enquired about suitable accommodation for Ian where he could get professional support.
It was only then Ian´s parents discovered that he may be entitled to compensation for catastrophic birth injuries, and they engaged the services of a solicitor to investigate his case. The solicitor came back to the parents with a positive response and – although the medical negligence responsible for Ian´s catastrophic birth injuries occurred thirty-three years ago – Ian´s parents made a claim for compensation against the South Central Strategic Health Authority.
Liability was conceded by the Health Authority following an investigation into the circumstances of Ian´s birth, and a settlement package estimated to be worth £5.7 million was negotiated. As Ian is unable to represent himself, the package of compensation for catastrophic birth injuries had to be approved by a judge.
Consequently, at the Royal Court of Justice in London, the circumstances of Ian´s birth were related to the court. The court also heard an apology read to the family by a representative of South Central Strategic Health Authority, after which the settlement of compensation for catastrophic birth injuries was approved and the case resolved.