Medical Negligence News

Court Approves Compensation for Failure to Provide Adequate Treatment at Birth

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 by Medical Negligence

The High Court in London has approved a settlement of compensation for the failure to provide adequate treatment at birth in favour of a brain damaged child from Nottingham.

The unnamed seven-year-old child was born at the Queen´s Medical Centre in Nottingham in November 2006. Due to complications during his delivery, the child needed resuscitation after his birth, but attempts to revive him were mishandled and the child suffered severe brain damage as a result. He now has acute learning difficulties and requires around the clock care as he can neither walk nor talk.

The child´s parents sought legal advice and made a compensation claim for the failure to provide adequate treatment at birth against the Queen´s Medical Centre and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – alleging that their child´s brain damage could have been prevented with adequate post-natal treatment.

The NHS Trust admitted liability for the child´s brain damage injury, and a compensation package was negotiated in which the family will receive a £3.25 million lump sum immediately, with index-linked payments starting at £146,500 per year and increasing to £230,000 per year when the child reaches the age of 19. The total value of the compensation package is estimated at between £8 million and £9 million.

Mr Justice Lewis at the High Court in London heard the sequence of events which led to the compensation claim being made and the details of the settlement that had been negotiated. He described the settlement of compensation for the failure to provide adequate treatment at birth as “just and appropriate” and – approving the settlement – publicly commended the child´s parents for the care they had provided for him since he was born.

An apology to the family was also read out in court by the Trust´s barrister – acknowledging that there had been deficiencies in the provision of resuscitation when the child was born, but these shortcomings had been identified and rectified. The Chief Executive of the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust also spoke in court, adding that the Trust acknowledged no amount of money could undo the distress that the family had experienced.