Severe birth injury results in record court payment in cerebral palsy case

7 April 2015

Severe birth injury results in record court payment in cerebral palsy case

Severe birth injury results in record court payment in cerebral palsy case

A mother is set to receive what is possibly the largest medical negligence payment payout in legal history. The record payment-at least £14.6 million-reflects a lifetime of care required for Suzanne Adams’ son James after medical negligence resulted in him being starved of oxygen, resulting in brain injury and cerebral palsy.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust have been told by the High Court to pay in excess of £14.6 million for birth injuries, after failing to carry out a Caesarean section on Suzanne and failing to monitor her properly during labour.

As a result of the brain injury and cerebral palsy related negligence, her son James Robshaw (who is now 12) cannot speak, dress or feed himself without the help of a machine and also must use a wheelchair. The large payment refects the lifetime care James needs. has helped members of the public enquiring about potential cerebral palsy related negligence and brain injury, often resulting in settlements reflecting lifetime care yet this High Court decision sets an entirely new precedent for the amount of the sum awarded.

The lifetime care not only is reflected in the above but also sophisticated eye-gaze equipment which allows him to communicate. Even though his intellect has remained relatively well intact he will require dependence on others to assist him for the rest of his life. understands that the highest medical negligence payout for medical negligence has been approximately £15 million, though according to the Daily Mail newspaper this settlement is hoping to exceed that.

Birth Injury & Cerebral Palsy Related Negligence

Ms Adams was initially in labour when admitted to Lincoln County Hospital in 2002.

While her baby’s heart was monitored after her arrival, midwives failed to properly interpret the CTG trace correctly. The CTG trace detects foetal heart rate. Whether the hospital staff ignored or could not interpret the CTG rate is undetermined.

James had an abnormal heart rate and showed signs of distress whilst his mother was exhausted after a long and protracted labour. Due to the failed CTG interpretation and a failure to carry out a time sensitive Caesarean section, there was a delay in delivering James.

If the Caesarean section had been carried out-or the baby’s heart rate was properly monitored-the midwife could arguably have identified that James was in distress. As a result James could either have been delivered much sooner, potentially avoiding any injury.

In this case-as with other birth injury cases has helped members of the public with-the family was able to cope due to interim payments from the court.

Speaking today to the press, Ms Adams said: ‘The family has been through a very difficult time. 

'[The situation] has taken its toll on family relationships and my mental health and I am still on medication for depression and anxiety. 

'It was difficult to cope on my own at first and the interim payments my solicitor obtained transformed our lives. 

'The award will help James realise his potential.

'But no amount of money can ever make up for the mistakes that have condemned my amazing son to a lifetime of dependency on others.' 

Pauleen Pratt, acting chief nurse at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: 'The Trust and the NHS Litigation Authority are deeply sorry for what happened and for the impact this has had upon James and his family. 

'The Trust accepted, in 2009, liability for the injuries which James sustained during his birth some 12 years ago. 

'Although we cannot turn back the clock, we hope that the compensation, once agreed, will provide the reassurance that James’ future care needs will be met.'

Patient Care Options

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