£6.6 million for baby left with brain damage at birth causing cerebral palsy

John Bennett
John Bennett

Published: December 16th, 2022

5 min

The Claimant was born at 39 weeks at Burnley hospital. The Claimants mother was admitted with a history of spontaneous rupture of membranes. Following a virginal delivery, the Claimant was born in a very poor condition, a neonatal crash team performed resuscitation for a period of around 26 minutes before the first heartbeat. The Claimant was ventilated and admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Blood cultures showed the Claimant was positive for group B streptococcus which was treated with antibiotics. The Claimant had poor Cerebral Function Monitoring recordings and presented with hypotonia in the first few days of life. The Claimant was ventilated for the first few days of life until they were able to breath without.

An MRI which showed bilateral ischemic changes in the basal ganglia and internal capsule as well as some changes in the thalamus and hippocampal cortex bilaterally consistent with a diagnosis of Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy. The Claimant had very poor swallowing technique and was tube fed. The MRI confirmed a significant impact on the brain and neurological functioning long term.

The injury was so significant that in the event of clinical deterioration it was agreed resuscitation would not be in the Claimants best interest. Fortunately, the Claimant pulled through however they were left with:

  • Four Limb Cerebral Palsy

  • Severe Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

  • Epilepsy

  • Global Development Delay

  • Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease

  • Significant speech delay with Dystonia

  • Acute Asphyxia

The NHS accepted there was a failure to monitor the claimants heart rate immediately prior to delivery and there was a delay in delivering the Claimant who should have been delivered sooner. Following the claimant's birth in poor condition, there was a failure to perform effective resuscitation which caused the Claimants brain injury.

The Hospital barrister told the court, the NHS "sincerely apologise" to the Claimant for their failures and although the payment would help, it could not change the outcome.

The compensation will support an ongoing care package, which includes a lump sum payment of £3million, as well as annual payments for the remainder of the claimant's life. It will be used to fund lifetime care, therapies, specialist equipment and accommodation.

The Claimant is unable to communicate or mobilise independently. They will never be able to live independently. The compensation will ensure their future is secure and they can live the best life possible.

The NHS have agreed to make annual payments for the rest of the Claimants life. Not only will the lump sum enable the claimant to be set up for life, but it will also ensure they have financial security and peace of mind for the future.

The family are pleased the case had come to an end and are looking forward to getting on with their lives.

During the course of the case, the NHS Resolution acting on behalf of the trust, issued a number of interim payments to assist the Claimant with rehabilitation, care and support.

The claimants mum said, "I would like to thank John Bennett and the team at Forbes Solicitors for their support and hard work." She also expressed her thanks to the barrister Andrew Lewis KC from Byrom Chambers who worked alongside Forbes Solicitors.

For further information please contact John Bennett

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