19 April 2012
In March 2012 Russell Levy
, partner and head of the clinical negligence
department at Leigh Day, settled a claim on behalf of a six year old girl, Ruby, who had been left severely brain damaged
as a result of the mismanagement of her mother’s labour at Northampton General Hospital in March 2006.
The little girl was effectively stillborn following negligent delays in her delivery. Although thankfully Ruby was able to be resuscitated and her life was saved, she had been starved of oxygen for a considerable period of time and as a result suffered severe brain damage and kidney failure. She is now very seriously disabled having developed cerebral palsy
, global developmental delay, epilepsy and autistic spectrum disorder.
Understandably Ruby requires a substantial amount of therapeutic input and care which her mother and father found was not always available on the NHS or through her school.
After detailed and extensive investigation of the cause of Ruby’s brain damage by Russell and his team, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust accepted responsibility for the child’s injuries and, through their solicitors, issued a letter of apology, which was welcomed by Ruby’s parents.
In March 2012, shortly before the trial was due to commence negotiations between the legal representatives, which were attended by the parents, produced a very acceptable settlement which should ensure that Ruby will be looked after for the rest of her life. She will receive a lump sum of just over £1 million which includes interim payments - Russell was able to negotiate that the defendant’s solicitors pay some money out early so that Ruby’s parents could purchase a disability adapted vehicle and a property for her, which were needed urgently and could not wait until the conclusion of the case.
In addition to the lump sum, Ruby will receive annual payments to meet her yearly care, therapeutic and other needs starting at £155,000 which she will get from age 6 until age 11. When she turns 11 years old she will receive £187,750 annually, from the age of 19 until she is 22 she will receive £266,000 and thereafter for the rest of her life she will receive an annual payment of £282,000.
On approving the settlement Mr Justice Foskett said “I am always lost in admiration for what parents do in these situations. There is absolutely no doubt that all in all this is an excellent settlement as far as the child is concerned”.
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