Archive for May, 2015

Court Awards Compensation for Birth Injuries

Posted on: May 16th, 2015 by Medical Negligence

The Leeds High Court have approved a claim made on behalf of a seven year-old boy after he sustained injuries at birth because of a failure to act upon prenatal scans.

On the 31st May 2008, Kit van Berckel was born at the Harrogate District Hospital, over a week past his due date. However, preceding his birth, the medical staff failed to correctly interpret and act upon scans that were performed on Kit’s mother. The scans showed that Kit was suffering from foetal distress, and when he was finally delivered, he had to be resuscitated as he had no heartbeat.

As Kit was deprived of oxygen in utero, he suffered substantial brain injuries. Later, he was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy. Kit is unable to support himself whilst sitting and needs help to move and eat. Though he cannot communicate verbally, Kit attends a mainstream school and uses specialised eye-stream technology to communicate.

On behalf of their son, Joanna and Charles Berckel from North Yorkshire made a claim for compensation for failure to act on his pre-natal scans. In the claim, it was alleged that his birth injuries were because of the negligence of the staff at the hospital where he was born. An investigation ensued, and the Harrogate Hospital NHS Foundation Trust admitted full liability for Kit’s condition.

Negotiations commenced between the parties, and though a care and rehabilitation package was decided upon, Kit will continue to live with his parents in their specially designed home. The full value of the birth injury compensation is around £9.872 million, but because the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the case had to proceed to the courts for approval of the settlement. Earlier this month, a judge at the Leeds High Court approved the settlement.

Kit’s mother commented, after the announcement of the claim, that “We were devastated and heartbroken when we found out that Kit’s condition could have been avoided if mistakes had not been made during his delivery.  There needs to be a fundamental overhaul of accountability and management procedures to minimise the opportunity of negligence caused by medical staff.”

Compensation for Brain Damage during a Laparoscopy Procedure Approved by Court

Posted on: May 6th, 2015 by Medical Negligence

The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for brain damage during a laparoscopy procedure estimated to be worth £8 million.

The woman on whose behalf the claim was made – and who has requested to remain anonymous – was admitted to the Hope Hospital in Manchester in March 2010 for a “routine” laparoscopy procedure. Aged twenty-two years at the time, the woman was in a serious relationship, enjoyed her job as a hairdresser and had an active social life.

During the start of the procedure to remove a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, an aorta was punctured when one of the incisions was made. The woman experienced a severe loss of blood resulted, due to which her circulation collapsed and her heart stopped beating. The woman suffered serious brain damage due to it being deprived of oxygen.

The woman is now confined to a wheelchair and needs care twenty-four hours a day. As she is also cognitively deficient, a claim for compensation for brain damage during a laparoscopy procedure was made on her behalf by her mother. The NHS Trust responsible for the Hope Hospital – the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust – admitted liability for her injuries in 2012.

A court hearing to determine how much compensation for brain damage during a laparoscopy procedure the woman was entitled to was scheduled; but, before it could be held, a settlement of her claim was negotiated. Under the settlement the woman will receive an immediate payment of £2 million and index-linked payments for the rest of her life.

As with all compensation claims made on behalf of a claimant who is unable to represent themselves, the negotiated settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in the claimant´s best interests. Consequently details of the surgical accident and the claimant´s injury were related to Mrs Justice Swift at the High Court in London.

After an apology had been read to the woman and her family by a representative of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Mrs Justice Swift approved the settlement of compensation for brain damage during a laparoscopy procedure. Before closing the case, Judge Swift said: “I hope that this substantial settlement will at least ensure she has the best possible quality of life in the years to come and I wish her and the other members of her family the very best for the future”.