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Claim settled for baby who suffered brain damage during his delivery

Maidstone Hospital mismanaged client's labour resulting in brain damage

20 December 2012

Clinical negligence lawyers and child brain injury specialists Anne Winyard and Gemma Castrofilippo recently settled a claim for a boy (to be known as ‘JKL’) who sustained a brain injury during his delivery. In addition to his damages settlement, an anonymity order was applied for and granted by the court to prevent JKL being identified as recipient of a substantial damages award.

JKL’s mother’s labour was mismanaged by Maidstone Hospital and as a result his delivery was negligently delayed by some 25 minutes exposing him to a period of severe hypoxia - only relieved by post-birth resuscitation after he was finally delivered by emergency caesarean section, but unfortunately too late to prevent hypoxic brain injury.

As a result of the hospital’s negligence JKL developed dystonic tetraplegic cerebral palsy and requires 24-hour care. He has some preserved cognitive and more significant social abilities.

His mother herself also suffered significant injury. The bungled emergency caesarean section resulted in bowel and scarring problems, psychiatric injury and secondary infertility.

Claims were brought on behalf of both JKL and his mother. His mother’s claim was settled shortly before her trial in 2009.

JKL’s damages settlement was approved by the High Court earlier this month: a lump sum award of £1.43m together with indexed linked annual payments to cover his care and other special needs for the rest of his life starting at £150k pa and rising later in his life to £346k pa (at today’s values).

The behaviour of the NHS Trust and its lawyers was disappointing. In addition to failing to make - until the approval hearing earlier this month when it was pointed out to them in court that no apology had ever been given - an apology for the maximally severe injuries inflicted upon both mother and son by their negligence eight years ago, the Trust and its lawyers continued their wholly unacceptable conduct to the very end, by instructing their barrister to argue in court that JKL’s earnings loss claim should be truncated at the age they guess will be his pension age in 60 years’ time. This amounted to the NHS Trust and its lawyers going back upon the settlement agreed with us a few weeks earlier but nonetheless - despite the further upset caused to the family - they pursued the argument. The Judge found against them.



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