Jane McBennett, Associate in Morrish Solicitors clinical negligence department, has successfully concluded a long running cerebral palsy claim for a 12 year old girl who was left severely disabled as the result of blunders at Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Under the terms of the settlement which was recently approved in the High Court, the Claimant will receive a lump sum of £2.2 million plus annual payments of £80,000.00, rising to £148,000.00 after she reaches 19 years of age.
The claim arose from very serious brain injuries suffered at the time of the birth, which caused the girl to suffer from cerebral palsy. This affects all four of her limbs, she has no independent mobility and requires full-time round the clock care. She also suffers from epilepsy, has learning difficulties and has to be fed through a gastronomy tube into her tummy.
She now lives with her grandparents and the size of the settlement means that the family can now purchase a bungalow and adapt it. They can now enjoy taking her out more easily in a vehicle suitable for her wheelchair and have lots of family days out by the seaside which she loves. The annual payments will give the family the security of knowing that their granddaughter will have the money she needs to pay for good quality care once they are no longer able to provide this. The fund also gives them access to the many exciting developments in technology that help the severely disabled connect with the world around them. Specially modified computers work by recognising eye gaze and it is even possible to control a wheelchair in this way.
The legal team had a tough fight against the hospital and it was many years before they conceded that they were at fault for the brain damage which the baby suffered shortly before she was delivered. It was only when they managed to obtain a transcript of the conversation that had taken place between the mother and the ambulance crew on the night she was admitted in labour, that the hospital were willing to negotiate. Until that point, they had insisted that they were not at fault.
The transcript showed that the mother was bleeding and that the ambulance service had been concerned enough about her condition to radio ahead to the hospital and advise them.
Shortly before the issue of liability was due to be tried by the Court, the hospital put forward an offer and settlement negotiations were agreed on the basis that the hospital accepted that they were 80% to blame for the injuries suffered.
Now the family’s 12 year fight for justice is over, they can provide the care and equipment their granddaughter needs to enable her to maximise her quality of life.