Settlement of Compensation for Cerebral Palsy due to Hospital Negligence Approved at High Court

A settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence – estimated to have a value of £10 million – has been approved by a judge at the High Court in London.

Ayla Ellison was born in April 2007 at the Furness General Hospital, after having been starved of oxygen in the womb and suffering devastating birth injuries. Now seven years of age, Ayla suffers from severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She is almost completely blind and has to be fed via a tube. Ayla also experiences dreadful and painful muscle spasms, for which the only remedy is to be immersed in a hydrotherapy pool.

On their daughter´s behalf, Daniel and Carla Ellison from Ulverston in Cumbria claimed compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence from the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. The NHS Trust acknowledged liability in 2012 and admitted that errors had been made in the management of Ayla´s birth. The NHS trust started making interim payments of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence while an assessment into Ayla´s future needs was conducted.

When a settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence was agreed, the case went to the High Court in London for approval. At the High Court an apology was read to the family by David Walker – the Medical Director of the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust – in which the NHS Trust said it sincerely regretted the injuries that Ayla had suffered and the distress caused to her family.

Mr Justice Warby heard that, as part of the settlement, the Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust had agreed to fund the purchase a home in Richmond so that Daniel could continue his job in the capital as a consultant engineer and remain close to his family. The remainder of the settlement included a lump sum of £295,000 and annual tax-free, index-linked payments for the extent of Ayla´s life – a settlement with an estimated value of £10 million.

The judge approved the settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to hospital negligence and commended Ayla´s parents for the “calm and intelligent” manner in which they had coped with their daughter´s birth injuries. Mr Justice Warby also commented “I have no hesitation in accepting that the stated intention of Daniel and Carla Elliston to move to London to build a new family life there is a sincere, genuine and heartfelt one.”

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