Compensation for Childbirth Care Deficiencies Approved by Judge

A multi-million pounds settlement of compensation for childbirth care deficiencies has been approved by a High Court judge in favour of a seven-year-old boy from Nottingham.

The unnamed boy was born in November 2006 at the Queen´s Medical Centre in Nottingham after there had been complications during his birth. The boy suffered severe brain damage as a result of mismanaged attempts to resuscitate him, and he now needs around-the-clock care as he can neither walk nor talk and has acute learning difficulties.

The boy´s parents claimed compensation for childbirth care deficiencies against the Queen´s Medical Centre and the NHS Trust that has responsibility for the Centre – Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – alleging that their son´s brain damage could have been avoided with competent post-natal care. The Trust admitted liability for the boy´s injury, and a compensation package was negotiated to provide care for the rest of his life.

At the High Court in London, Mr Justice Lewis heard the sequence of events which led to the claim for childbirth care deficiencies being made and details of the settlement that had been agreed – a £3.25 million lump sum to be paid immediately and index-linked payments each year, starting at £146,500 and rising to £230,000 when the boy reaches the age of 19. The total value of the package is calculated at between £8 million and £9 million.

The judge described the settlement as “just and appropriate” and publicly commended the boy´s parents for the support they had given him to date. As part of the agreement, an apology to the family was read by the Trust´s barrister – the apology acknowledging that there had been deficiencies in the provision of resuscitation when the boy was born, but these had been identified and rectified.

The Chief Executive of the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust Peter Homa also spoke in court, saying that the Trust hoped the settlement would provide the family with financial security for the future, although no amount of money could undo the distress they had experienced. Judge Lewis then approved the settlement of compensation for childbirth care deficiencies and closed the case.

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