Clarke Willmott recently acted for a 10 year old boy who suffered brain damage at birth due to the negligence of the doctors and midwives involved in his delivery. A combination of failings, including a lack of proper examination of his mother during labour, an inability to deal with a breech presentation and a failure to properly resuscitate the baby, sadly led to oxygen deprivation and cerebral palsy.
After an initial denial of responsibility, the hospital trust eventually admitted fault and steps were taken to evaluate the child’s needs. Unable to walk, feed himself or self care, he needed a life long care regime to address his needs. Prior to instructing solicitors, the burden had been carried wholly by his parents who provided unstinting care and continue to support their son in many ways. After extensive investigations, involving specialist expert witnesses in a number of disciplines, the case was settled after hard fought negotiations with the Defendant. The agreement provided for annual payments to meet the client’s care needs in full for the rest of his life.
Compensation was also obtained to support participation in mainstream education. Provision of funds to meet the costs of an especially adapted vehicle and state of the art equipment, including motorised wheelchairs and the latest IT systems were key to minimising the practical difficulties and maximising the benefits of attending his local school.
A new home was purchased for the family with an interim payment obtained before the case concluded. Adaptations were carried out to make it suitable to meet the boy’s needs, including specialist bathrooms and hoists. A hydrotherapy pool is soon to be added for exercise and recreation.
A lump sum of £3.375 million was awarded to meet capital costs and immediate needs. The balance of the compensation will be paid by means of annual payments at varying levels to meet care and support costs and other regular outgoings during the remainder of the Claimant’s life.
Cases such as this are long and very complex. It is essential that clients instruct solicitors who have the knowledge, experience and resources to deal with such claims. At a time when many solicitors are holding themselves out as having that expertise, Chris Thorne, who represented the family in this case advised:
“It is difficult for families to identify the solicitors with the genuine ability to deal with such claims properly when they are confronted by multi media advertising. As a starting point they should at least make sure that the solicitor they approach is a Law Society or AvMA clinical negligence accredited panel member.”
Clarke Willmott partners, Kerry Fifield and Chris Thorne are accredited clinical negligence panel members.
If you wish to talk to Chris about a similar case or any other medical mistreatment, please call us on 0345 2091461.