This is a claim that was sadly brought forward 3 years after the Claimant’s death, by the Claimant’s mother who was also her Litigation Friend.
It was a claim for the mismanagement of birth which resulted in the Claimant having quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
At 37 weeks pregnant, there was concern for the fetus’s uterine growth restriction and labor induction was recommended. Following the birth of the Claimant, there was failures in fetal heart rate monitoring, regular CTG tracing and general monitoring of the Claimant.
The clinical team had failed to recognise that this was a high-risk pregnancy and did not comprehend the decelerations that occurred prior to delivery.
The Claimant was born in poor condition with low Apgar scores and required resuscitation. The Claimant developed seizures at birth and was diagnosed as having quadriplegic cerebral palsy with significant cognitive impairment.
The foundation of this claim by the Claimant’s mother was that continual fetal heart rate monitoring should have taken place and if so, this would have showed any accelerations and/or late decelerations and that an obstetric review would have expedited delivery and the Claimant would have been born which would have avoided her brain injury.
Throughout the litigation process, the Defendants had made continuous delays in filing a letter of response, defence and witness statements. An application had to be made to the Court since no defence had been filed depsite reasonable extension periods being given by the Claimant’s Solicitors. Costs were awarded in the Claimant’s favour together with a Court order to file a defence within 7 days. Settlement negotiations had also taken place which involved Part 36 offers and a time limited offer between parties.
The claim was subsequently settled in June 2016 before an experts meeting took place as per advice given by Counsel due to the threatening nature of the Defendants and their threats to withdraw their Part 36 Offer. The total damages awarded were £150,000.00.
In August 2017, an inquest was held into the Claimant’s death as the death did occur unexpectedly in the Claimant’s sleep from breathing difficulty. Shortly before the death of the Claimant, she had attended hospital and had been discharged accordingly. The family wanted to make enquiries that her discharge was correct given her breathing difficulties and cause of death.