Compensation for the Failure to Monitor a Mother during the Later Stages of Pregnancy Approved

The family of a young boy, who suffered brain damage due to alleged hospital negligence, has heard a £6 million settlement of compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy approved at the High Court.

Joseph O´Reggio was born at the New Cross Hospital in Birmingham on April 14, 2001, following an alleged failure by maternity staff to monitor his mother during the later stages of her pregnancy. During the period that Joseph´s mother was not being monitored, his heart rate fell and he was deprived of oxygen in the womb.

Joseph suffered brain damage due to the fall in the foetal heart rate and he was born with cerebral palsy. Joseph now needs around-the-clock care and is unable to feed himself or communicate verbally.

On Joseph´s behalf, his mother made a claim for compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy – alleging that a decrease in the foetal heart rate had been identified on the morning of Joseph´s birth, but a specialist had not been summoned until 10:00pm that evening.

In 2011 – ten years after Joseph´s allegedly mismanaged birth – the Royal Wolverhampton NHS trust admitted that Joseph should have been delivered earlier, but failed to accept full responsibility for his birth injuries.

An agreement was negotiated in which the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust would accept 80% liability and pay 80% of the compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy once it was determined how much Joseph would need for his future care.

At the Royal Court of Justice this week, the final settlement of compensation for the failure to monitor a mother during the later stages of pregnancy was approved, and comprised of a lump sum payment and annual index-linked periodic payments with a total value in excess of £6 million.

The settlement will allow Joseph´s family to move into a specially-adapted house, equipped with the rehabilitation tools Joseph will need to develop his hearing, sight, touch, taste and language skills, and eye-hand coordination.

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