Archive for May, 2016

Multi-Million Settlement for Brain Injuries at Birth

Posted on: May 16th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

London’s High Court have approved a multi-million pound settlement for a seven year-old boy who was rendered severely disabled by mistakes in his delivery. 

In March 2009, Thomas Hord was born at the East Surrey Hospital through an emergency Caesarean Section. However, there was a twenty-minute delay between a diagnosis of foetal distress and the surgery, during which time Thomas sustained severe brain damage because he was starved of oxygen in utero. 

As a result of the brain damage he sustained during this twenty-minute delay, Thomas now suffers from cerebral palsy. He can only communicate with this eyes, and also suffers from epileptic fits. Despite these hardships, Thomas is currently attending a mainstream primary school and lives at home with his parents, Samantha and Christopher, as well as three siblings. 

Samantha and Christopher, acting on behalf of their son, sought legal counsel concerning Thomas’ untimely birth. They subsequently made a claim for birth injuries compensation against the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, the body that runs the hospital where Thomas was born. In 2011, the trust admitted liability for Thomas’ injuries and began negotiating a compensation settlement with his parents. Eventually, Thomas was offered a £2.5 million lump sum, as well as annual index-linked payments of £100,000. When Thomas reaches adulthood, these annual payments will increase in value to £245,000 a year. 

The settlement then proceeded to London’s High Court to be approved by a judge. At the hearing – overseen by Mr Justice Warby – the Chief Executive for the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust read a statement that apologised for Thomas’ injuries and the  “the difficulties caused for him and his family”. Margaret Bowron, who acts as QC for the NHS Trust, expressed her respect for Thomas’ parents for their dedication to their son since his birth. 

As he approved Thomas’ compensation for birth injuries, Judge Warby expressed similar admiration of Thomas’ parents: “I would like to express my admiration for the parents’ work and devotion to the care of their son, particularly in light of the pressures of work and family matters, that have no doubt made it even more difficult. The court wishes the family the very best for the future.”