London’s High Court have approved a multi-million pound compensation settlement for child’s cerebral palsy after complications at his birth.
The boy, who has remained anonymous though is known to be five years old and from Brighton, was born in March 2010 at the Royal Sussex Hospital. However, before his delivery he was deprived of oxygen in utero as the midwives attending his delivery did not notice that his mother had a prolapsed cord. This meant that the boy sustained severe brain damage, which manifested in four-limbed athetoid cerebral palsy.
Because of his condition, the young child suffers from epilepsy, vision impairment, speech impediments and involuntary movement of his muscles. As such, the child will be entirely dependent on round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
A year after his son’s birth, the father made a claim for compensation against the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, who are responsible for the Royal Sussex Hospital. In the claim, he alleged that the medical staff attending the birth did notice the prolapsed cord, and had his son been delivered just minutes earlier the injuries that he now lives with would not have the same degree of severity.
The NHS Trust admitted liability for the child’s injuries in November 2012, and whilst an investigation proceeded into the future costs of the boy’s care, an interim settlement was made to the family. However, earlier this month, the case proceeded to the High Court in London, where a judge approved a package worth £11.5 million for the athetoid cerebral palsy claim.
After the package was approved, legal representation for the boy’s family commented that: “We are pleased that we secured this settlement for him and his family, they now have the financial security and reassurance that the costs for his future treatment will be met. We hope that lessons are learnt by the Hospital and their staff so that patient safety in this situation can be improved and each and every patient receives the best quality of care at all times.”