Medical Negligence News

Brain Damaged Twin Receives £2 million Compensation Settlement

Posted on: March 23rd, 2011 by Medical Negligence


The High Court has awarded a young boy who – with his twin sister – suffered severe brain damage at his birth a £2 million compensation settlement for the medical negligence.


Thomas and Rachel Hartley (now aged eleven) of Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire were born in October 1999 at the Hemel Hempstead Hospital. Yet when they were born, they sustained debilitating brain damage due to the alleged negligence of the hospital staff. Both Thomas and Rachel are wheelchair bound whenever they leave the house, and once they reach adulthood, they will be confined to a wheelchair completely.


The High Court proceedings were overseen by Judge Peter Ralls QC, who heard how Joanna – the mother of the twins – was admitted to the hospital earlier in October because of complications in her pregnancy. However, the doctors attending her did not notice that she was actually in premature labour. They prescribed her drugs with the intention of strengthening the babies’ lungs and then delayed the birth.


The twins’ parents claim that this negligence caused their children to suffer brain damage in utero, which would cause them later to be diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The parents claim that, had the correct diagnosis of premature labour been made, their twins would not have suffered with the condition.


The West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, who oversee Hemel Hempstead Hospital, denied that the they were liable for the children’s injuries injuries, though they did agree to pay a £2 million compensation settlement to Thomas, and a yet-to-be-determined amount to Rachel. Both settlements will need to cover their lifetime care and support.

Judge Peter Ralls QC approved the settlement, and added that “I express my sympathy to Mr and Mrs Hartley who have been through what must have been a very anxious time… I wish you well for the future, and for your delightful children.”