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Olive Lewin settles complex cerebral palsy case for £3m

Cerebral palsy claims specialist solicitor succeeds with a case taken over from a previous firm

Photo of A&E sign: istock

3 November 2011

Specialist clinical negligence solicitor and Leigh Day partner Olive Lewin has recently settled a claim for compensation on behalf of her client who suffers from mixed quadriplegic cerebral palsy.  Our client was catastrophically injured during his birth in December 1996.  His mother Mrs X had experienced an uneventful second pregnancy.  On the morning of 21st December 1996 she noticed bleeding which she thought was a sign that she was going into labour. Her husband phoned Frimley Park hospital where she was due to give birth to let the labour ward know she was going into labour and would shortly be at the hospital.  Mrs X then began to haemorrhage and when her husband phoned the hospital again to speak to a midwife he was told not to wait for an ambulance but to drive straight to the hospital where they would be met.  Mr X drove his wife straight to A&E where she was asked to wait.  She was not transferred to the labour ward for 10 minutes.

It was not until some 40 minutes after being admitted to the labour ward with a severe and constant bradycardia that our client was delivered by emergency caesarean section after Mrs X had been examined by a doctor and registrar. Our client showed no sign of life at birth and subsequently developed cerebral palsy as a result of which he is severely disabled.  Our client suffers from mixed quadriplegic cerebral palsy and needs 24-hour care. He has a severely twisted spine and is both orally fed and fed through a gastrostomy tube. His cognitive abilities are greatly impaired, he communicates by eye pointing, and is in constant pain.

Highly experienced clinical negligence solicitor Olive Lewin took on this case after the couple became disillusioned with the firm of solicitors who had previously run the case. Our client’s case was that Frimley Park Hospital failed in its duty towards our client by not making it clear that Mrs X should have been taken directly to the Central Delivery Suite (CDS); by not transferring her immediately to CDS as soon as she arrived at the hospital; by not ensuring that she was seen by a Registrar immediately; and by delaying her emergency caesarean by carrying out an unnecessary vaginal examination. All of these factors led to the catastrophic brain damage that our client suffered which could have been avoided.

Having secured experts' reports from both an extremely experienced obstetrician and midwife Olive proceeded with a claim for hospital negligence on behalf of her client, and, following a round table meeting, secured a settlement for her client of £3m, which is made up of a smaller lump sum and annual payments for life.

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