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£5.1m settlement for spinal cord injury during delivery

A boy who was injured during his birth has succeeded in his medical negligence claim

16 May 2019

A ten year old boy known only as JRM to protect his identity has settled his medical negligence claim against King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust after he was catastrophically injury during his birth.

The family of JRM instructed medical negligence solicitor Kirsten Wall to act for him in his claim which has now settled for a lump sum of £5.1m, together with index-linked annual payments, which will be made in Euros as his family are moving within the Eurozone, of €763,500 until he is nineteen years old, when they increase to €789,000 a year.  

JRM suffered a high spinal cord injury during his delivery by forceps.  Kirsten argued that the Obstetric Registrar who delivered JRM had interpreted his position incorrectly.  The Registrar applied the forceps over JRM’s face and the back of his head, rather than the sides of his head, and then had to pull hard to deliver JRM because of his misjudgement about JRM’s position.  

Crucial photographic evidence was presented to the Court that showed extensive bruising over JRM’s face shortly after his birth.  

The case on liability was heard in 2017 by Mr Justice Gilbart who agreed that, “JRM was delivered with excessive force, with the forceps being placed in the wrong position, and then pulled vigorously”.

As a result of this negligent care, JRM is permanently disabled, is unable to move his limbs, eat or breathe for himself and is reliant on a ventilator.  Despite the trauma of his delivery JRM has no cognitive impairments and greatly enjoys school.

Because of his significant needs he needs two carers to be with him at all times.  Up until now the responsibility for this has been with JRM’s family.  

Medical negligence solicitor at Leigh Day, Kirsten Wall, said:

“We are delighted to have been able to finalise JRM’s case with a substantial award of damages.  This will allow him to employ 24 hour carers so that his mother can be his mum, rather than carer/nurse/case manager combined.”  

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